High levels of Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) expression were associated with aggressive clinical features in ovarian cancer

Anticancer Res. 2014 May;34(5):2331-40.


Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the correlation between WT1 expression levels and clinical features, to investigate the prognostic value of WT1 expression and to use lentiviral constructs to examine whether overexpression of WT1 affects cell proliferation and invasion in ovarian cancer patients.

Materials and methods: Real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) methods were employed to analyze WT1 expression levels in clinical samples from 63 patients with ovarian cancer. The correlation between the copy number of WT1 mRNA and clinical variables was analyzed.

Results: The median copy number of WT1 mRNA was 53.94 (range=2.135-32,257) in all subjects and WT1 expression levels were found significantly increased in patients with a higher stage cancer (p<0.05), lymphnode (p<0.001) and omentum metastasis (p<0.001), as well as ascites production (p<0.05), compared to patients lacking these clinical variables. No significant difference in WT1 expression levels were observed between patients with and without recurrence. The median disease-free survival time in patients with low WT1 expression levels was significantly longer (p=0.038) than that in patients with high WT1 expression. However, overall survival curves showed no statistically significant (p=0.457) differences between patients with high- and low-WT1 expression levels. An in vitro study revealed that WT1 over-expression enhanced cell proliferation and invasion in ovarian cancer cells transduced with lentiviral constructs.

Conclusion: Using qPCR, we found that high levels of WT1 expression correlated with aggressive clinical features in ovarian cancer. High WT1 expression may impact on median disease-free survival in ovarian cancer.

Keywords: WT1; clinical features; disease-free survival; lentivirus; ovarian cancer; overall survival; prognosis; real-time quantitative PCR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • WT1 Proteins / biosynthesis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA, Messenger
  • WT1 Proteins
  • WT1 protein, human