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Open Access Research article

Glycodelin A is a prognostic marker to predict poor outcome in advanced stage ovarian cancer patients

Christoph Scholz1, Sabine Heublein2, Miriam Lenhard3, Klaus Friese23, Doris Mayr4 and Udo Jeschke2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Campus Innenstadt, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, 80337, Germany

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Campus Großhadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, 80337, Germany

4 Department of Pathology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, 80337, Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:551  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-551

Published: 5 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Glycodelin is a cell surface glycoprotein offering a unique gender specific carbohydrate configuration. Sialylated carbohydrate structures, which are unusual for mammals, characterize Glycodelin isolated from amniotic fluid (Glycodelin A, GdA). Glycodelin in general exerts multiple, partly opposing functions ranging from immunosuppression to cell differentiation. As these markedly influence tumorigenesis, this study aimed to clarify whether expression of different Glycodelin isoforms is related to clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis of ovarian cancer patients. Further the use of Glycodelin as a serum marker in benign and malignant ovarian diseases was evaluated.

Methods

Ovarian cancer specimens (n = 152) were stained for Glycodelin with carbohydrate and peptide specific antibodies. Associations between Glycodelin expression and histological grading, FIGO stage as well as patient’s prognosis were examined. Glycodelin was correlated to expression of gonadotropin receptors and mucin-1, which are discussed as ovarian cancer tissue markers. In addition, Glycodelin serum concentrations were analyzed in patients suffering from benign (n = 73) or malignant (n = 38) ovarian neoplasias.

Results

Glycodelin A was found to be an independent prognostic marker for poor prognosis in advanced ovarian cancer patients. GdA staining correlated with gonadotropin receptor (FSHR and LHCGR) and with hCG expression. Gd expression showed a positive correlation with a tumour-associated epitope of mucin 1 (TA-MUC1). Further, compared to ovarian cancer, serum Gd was increased in patients with benign ovarian tumors.

Conclusion

Glycodelin A might be related to tumor aggressiveness and poor clinical outcome in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer. Glycodelin serum levels found in patients suffering from benign ovarian tumors, might contribute to a more global attenuation during progression of these precursor lesions.

Keywords:
Ovarian cancer; Glycodelin; Immunohistochemistry; Prognosis