Background: Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) contribute to the invasiveness of many carcinomas. Here, we studied a possible association between cytosolic uPA and PA-1 concentrations in tumor tissue with prognosis in patients with endometrial cancer.
Methods: Cytosolic concentrations of uPA and PAI-1 were determined in 69 primary endothelial adenocarcinomas using an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). A possible influence of uPA and PAI-1 was studied by multivariate Cox regression adjusting for the established clinical prognostic factors FIGO-stage, grading, depth of invasion, diabetes mellitus and age.
Results: Both uPA (p=0.011) and PAI-1 (p=0.003) were associated with relapse free time using the multivariate proportional hazards model. Association with overall survival was less pronounced with p=0.021 for uPA and p=0.358 for PAI-1. Concentrations of PAI-1 increased with FIGO stage (p=0.003) and with histological grading (p=0.005). Both uPA and PAI-1 concentrations were negatively correlated with estrogen and progesterone receptor levels.
Conclusion: The combination of high cytosolic concentrations of uPA (>5 ng/mg total protein) and high PAI-1 (>20 ng/mg total protein) may reveal a group of patients with increased risk of progression.