Expression of putative stem marker nestin and CD133 in advanced serous ovarian cancer

Q Qin, Y Sun, M Fei, J Zhang, Y Jia, M Gu, R Xia, S Chen, A Deng
Neoplasma 2012, 59 (3): 310-5
It is hypothesized that "cancer stem cells" are responsible for the resistance to chemotherapy of cancer cells in ovarian cancers. The objective of the studies was to explore if the stem cell biomarkers could be used to predict the tumor chemotherapy-resistance in serous ovarian cancer patients. Expression of two putative stem cell markers CD133 and nestin, and vascular epithelial growth factor (VEGF) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) were detected in 123 cases of advanced serous ovarian cancer specimens by immunohistochemistry. To estimate intra-tumoral microvessel density (MVD), CD34 immunostaining was also performed. CD133 and nestin were defined to be positive in 35.0% and 32.5% of the serous ovarian carcinoma tissues, respectively. It was observed that overexpression of nestin but not CD133 was associated with the cisplatin-based chemotherapy resistance and shorter overall survival of the patients, and nestin was found to be an independent prognostic factor. Moreover, positive nestin expression also correlated to increased expression of EGFR and VEGF, and elevated MVD in tumors. The results of this study suggest that serous ovarian cancers with high expression level of nestin represent an aggressive malignant phenotype associated with poor prognosis, and treatment targeted the nestin positive cancer cells might be a promising therapeutic strategy for this subgroups.

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