Objective: Prior studies have suggested that patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer at an older age have worse outcomes. However, few studies have examined whether differing patterns of protein expression in tumors in older patients correlate with this poorer prognosis. We investigated the correlation of age with prognosis and the significance of hormone receptor status in younger versus older patients through construction of a clinically-annotated high-density tissue microarray (HTMA) composed of stage III and IV papillary serous ovarian cancer cases.
Methods: Two cohorts of patients (age > or =65 and < or =55 at diagnosis) were identified retrospectively from ovarian carcinoma pathology cases reviewed at our institution between 1999 and 2005. An HTMA was constructed from 148 eligible cases, and clinical data were abstracted through chart and database review.
Results: No difference in survival was observed between younger and older patients. Patients > or =70 years had decreased survival on univariate, but not multivariate, analysis. ER was significantly more likely (p=0.01) and PR significantly less likely (p=0.02) to be expressed in older patients. Neither ER nor PR independently correlated with survival in the overall study population.
Conclusions: Patients with advanced-stage papillary serous ovarian cancer > or =65 years of age at diagnosis have a similar survival as patients < or =55 years. Hormone receptor status differs significantly between the two age groups, and in the younger patient cohort, there is a trend towards longer overall survival for ER/PR positive tumors. These results suggest that ovarian cancer in younger patients differs biologically from that in older patients.