Overexpression of the epithelial cell adhesion molecule is associated with a more favorable prognosis and response to platinum-based chemotherapy in ovarian cancer

J Gynecol Oncol. 2014 Jul;25(3):221-8. doi: 10.3802/jgo.2014.25.3.221. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

Abstract

Objective: Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) has experienced a renaissance lately as a binding site for targeted therapy as well as a prognostic marker in epithelial malignancies. Aim of this study was to study EpCAM as a potential prognostic marker in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).

Methods: EpCAM expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry on paraffin-embedded primary EOC-tissue samples. EpCAM overexpression was defined as an expression of EpCAM of 76% to 100%. Tissue samples and clinical data were systematically collected within the international and multicenter "Tumorbank Ovarian Cancer" network.

Results: Seventy-four patients, diagnosed with EOC between 1994 and 2009, were included in the study (median age, 56 years; range, 31 to 86 years). The majority of the patients (81.1%) presented with an advanced stage International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) III/IV disease. Histology was of the serous type in 41 patients (55.4%), endometrioid in 19 (25.6%), and mucinous in 14 (19%). EpCAM was overexpressed in 87.7%. Serous tumors overexpressed EpCAM significantly more often than mucinous tumors (87.8% vs. 78.6%, p=0.045); while no significant difference was noted between the other histological subgroups. EpCAM overexpression was significantly associated with a better progression free survival and higher response rates to platinum based chemotherapy (p=0.040 and p=0.048, respectively). EpCAM was identified as an independent prognostic marker for overall survival (p=0.022).

Conclusion: Our data indicate a significant association of EpCAM overexpression with a more favorable survival in EOC-patients. Serous cancers showed a significant EpCAM overexpression compared to mucinous types. Larger multicenter analyses are warranted to confirm these findings.

Keywords: Epithelial cell adhesion molecule; Ovarian neoplasms; Survival.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Tissue Banks
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • EPCAM protein, human
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Organoplatinum Compounds
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel