In situ hybridization (ISH) analysis of 24 benign, borderline, and malignant ovarian tumor specimens revealed NEU transcript expression by epithelial elements in approximately two-thirds of the samples and high-level expression in 3 grade 3 adenocarcinomas. Immunohistochemical staining (IHC) of a total of 86 specimens (including 17 of those studied by ISH) localized NEU antigen expression to epithelial cells in 36 of 86 samples with strong membrane staining observed in 12, including 1 benign, 1 borderline serous carcinoma, 3 clear cell/endometrioid carcinomas, and 7 predominantly papillary serous carcinomas with areas of clear cell/endometrioid histology. Clinical correlation of the IHC results for the 72 Stage I-IV invasively malignant neoplasms revealed no statistically significant association of the intensity of NEU IHC staining with either relapse-free or overall survival. However, more of the patients whose tumors showed strong membrane staining for NEU antigen suffered relapses of disease by 3 and 4 years than did patients whose tumors showed weak or no membrane staining. These results suggest a role for the NEU gene product in the physiology of benign ovarian surface epithelium and the neoplastic epithelium of preinvasive borderline and some invasively malignant adenocarcinomas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology