DNA ploidy may be a prognostic marker in stage I and II serous adenocarcinoma of the endometrium

Virchows Arch. 2012 Sep;461(3):291-8. doi: 10.1007/s00428-012-1275-2. Epub 2012 Jul 24.


In patients with serous adenocarcinoma (SAC) of the endometrium, we evaluated the prognostic importance of clinicopathological parameters, DNA ploidy, and immunoexpression of p53, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and Ki-67. In a series of 73 stage I and II SAC, DNA ploidy analysis was performed on hysterectomy specimens using DNA image cytometry. Immunohistochemical analysis of p53, ER, PR, and Ki-67 expression was additionally performed. In the review of the histological slides by three gynecologic pathologists, the presence of a serous component was not agreed upon in 17 (23 %) cases. The remaining 56 cases, consisting of pure SAC or SAC mixed with endometrioid adenocarcinoma, were further analyzed. Tumor recurrence was observed in 14 patients, and 28 patients died during the follow-up period. Patients with diploid (n = 19), aneuploid (n = 29), and tetraploid (n = 8) tumor had 5-year recurrence rates of 10, 38, and 53 %, respectively (p = 0.09). A DNA ploidy parameter, 5c exceeding rate, was found to be a prognostic marker for recurrence (p = 0.03), progression-free survival (p < 0.01), and overall survival (p = 0.02). Immunoexpression of p53, ER, PR, and Ki-67 did not have prognostic value, and the same was true for FIGO stage, lymphovascular invasion, the extent of myometrial invasion, and lymphadenectomy. The histological diagnosis of SAC may be difficult in some cases. Established clinicopathological parameters do not seem to be strong prognosticators in stage I and II disease. A DNA ploidy parameter, 5c exceeding rate, may be a prognostic marker in this patient group and should be further validated in larger series.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / genetics
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / mortality
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / mortality
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Image Cytometry / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Ploidies*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA, Neoplasm