Excision repair cross-complementation group 1 protein overexpression as a predictor of poor survival for high-grade serous ovarian adenocarcinoma

Gynecol Oncol. 2010 Nov;119(2):325-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2010.07.018. Epub 2010 Aug 21.


Objective: The excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) expression is a predictor of survival after surgical treatment for several malignancies. Its overexpression has been reported as a marker of platinum resistance in lung cancer. However, the relevance of ERCC1 expression in ovarian cancer (OC) is the subject of controversy, both as a predictive parameter for platinum resistance and because of its association with poor prognosis. Therefore, we performed a retrospective study investigating ERCC1 expression and its correlation with patients' survival in OC.

Methods: We analyzed the ERCC1 protein expression using four different ERCC1 antibodies (clone 8F1) with different staining protocols. Immunohistochemistry was performed on multi-tissue microarrays (77 patients with primary serous ovarian cancer treated between 1999 and 2004; median age at diagnosis 67 years; range 32 to 88 years; 90% FIGO III+IV). In all cases cytoreductive surgery was followed by platinum-based chemotherapy.

Results: The Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that the survival of patients with ERCC1-negative OCs (n=45; 62%) was significantly better (median survival 50.0 months) compared with the ERCC1-positive group (n=32; 38%; 20 months; p=0.004). Furthermore, ERCC1 expression was of prognostic relevance (p=0.002) in the case of negative expression in patients with residual tumor, where a higher survival rate was observed (median survival 30 months compared to 7.8 months in the ERCC1-positive group).

Conclusions: ERCC1 protein overexpression may act as a prognostic marker for poor survival of high-grade OC even in patients operated with residual disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / enzymology*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Endonucleases / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasm, Residual / enzymology
  • Neoplasm, Residual / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ERCC1 protein, human
  • Endonucleases