The influence of clinical and genetic factors on patient outcome in small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type

Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Jun;141(3):454-460. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.03.013. Epub 2016 Mar 19.


Objective: Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is an aggressive tumor, with long term survival at ~30% in early stage disease. SCCOHT is caused by germline and somatic SMARCA4 mutations, but the effect of the mutation type on patients remains unknown. Furthermore, the rarity of SCCOHT has resulted in varied treatment, with no standardized protocols. We analyzed 293 cases to determine the effect of treatment modalities and SMARCA4 mutations on patient diagnosis and outcome.

Methods: In 293 SCCOHT patients we collected information on age and stage at diagnosis, treatment modality (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and/or high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (HDC-aSCR)), SMARCA4 mutation origin (germline/somatic), and overall survival. Cox analysis and log-rank tests were performed on 257 cases with available survival data.

Results: The strongest prognostic factors were stage at diagnosis (p=2.72e-15) and treatment modality (p=3.87e-13). For FIGO stages II-IV, 5-year survival was 71% for patients who received HDC-aSCR, compared to 25% in patients who received conventional chemotherapy alone following surgery (p=0.002). Patients aged ≥40 had a worse outcome than younger patients (p=0.04). Twenty-six of 60 tested patients carried a germline SMARCA4 mutation, including all patients diagnosed <15years; carriers presented at a younger age than non-carriers (p=0.02).

Conclusions: Stage at diagnosis is the most significant prognostic factor in SCCOHT and consolidation with HDC-aSCR may provide the best opportunity for long-term survival. The large fraction of SMARCA4 germline mutations carriers warrants genetic counseling for all patients.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Mutation; Ovarian cancer; SCCOHT; SMARCA4; Stem cell rescue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / therapy*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA Helicases / genetics
  • Female
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia / genetics*
  • Hypercalcemia / pathology
  • Hypercalcemia / therapy*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • SMARCA4 protein, human
  • DNA Helicases