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Immunohistochemistry with apoptotic-antiapoptotic proteins (p53, p21, bax, bcl-2), c-kit, telomerase, and metallothionein as a diagnostic aid in benign, borderline, and malignant serous and mucinous ovarian tumors

Hatice Ozer1*, GoncaImir Yenicesu2, Sema Arici3, Meral Cetin2, Ersin Tuncer1 and Ali Cetin2

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Medicine, Sivas, 58140, Turkey

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Medicine, Sivas, Turkey

3 Department of Pathology, BezmialemVakıf University, Faculty of Medicine, Sivas, Turkey

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:124  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-124

Published: 20 September 2012

Abstract

Background

In many tumors including ovarian cancer, cell proliferation and apoptosis are important in pathogenesis and there are many alterations in most of the genes related to the cell cycle. This study was designed to evaluate immunohistochemistry with apoptotic-antiapoptotic proteins (p53, p21, bax, and bcl-2), c-kit, telomerase, and metallothionein as a diagnostic aid in typing of benign, borderline, and malignant serous and mucinous ovarian tumors.

Methods

Total of 68 ovarian tumors, 25 benign [13 (19.1%) serous and12 (17.6%) mucinous], 16 borderline [9 (13.2%) serous and 7(10.3%) mucinous], and 27 malignant ovarian tumors [24 (35.3%) serous and 3 (4.4%) mucinous tumors] were included in the study. Immunohistochemical expression of p53, p21, bax, bcl–2, telomerase, c-kit, and metallothionein were evaluated.

Results

When all 68 cases were evaluated as benign, borderline, and malignant ovarian tumors without considering histopathological subtypes, the p53, p21, bax and metallothionein showed significantly higher staining scores in the borderline and malignant ones (p < 0.05). After evaluation of all 68 cases, the serous tumors showed significantly higher staining scores of p53, p21, c-kit, and metallothionein compared to the mucinous ones (p < 0.05). For differentiation of benign and borderline and malignant tumors combined, p53 was not used because all benign tumors has no staining, and p21, bax, and metallothionein was determined the significant predictors for borderline and malignant tumors combined (p < 0.05). For differentiation of borderline and malignant tumors, only p53 was determined the significant predictor for malignant tumors (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

In conclusion, p53, p21, bax, c-kit, and metallothionein may be helpful for the typing of ovarian tumors as benign, borderline and malignant or serous and mucinous. p53, p21, bax, c-kit, and metallothionein may have different roles in the pathogenesis of ovarian tumor types. p53 and metallothionein may be helpful in the typing of borderline and malignant ovarian tumors. The immunohistochemical staining with bcl-2 and telomerase may not provide meaningful contribution for the typing of ovarian tumors.

Virtual slide

The virtual slides for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/2013030833768498 webcite

Keywords:
Ovarian tumors; Immunohistochemistry; p53; p21; bax; bcl–2; Telomerase; c-kit; Metallothionein