Midkine (MK) is a secreted heparin-binding growth factor. Several types of human cancer have increased MK expression with elevated serum levels. The purpose of this study was to determine whether MK was expressed in endometrial carcinoma and to evaluate the clinicopathological significance of serum MK in patients with endometrial carcinoma. Immunohistochemical expression of MK was evaluated in 85 endometrial carcinoma samples and 33 controls. MK expression was significantly higher in the carcinomas than in normal endometrium (P < 0.001). Interestingly, MK expression was highest at the margins of invasion and low in the superficial areas of the tumor samples. Using ELISA, we compared serum MK concentration in 120 endometrial carcinoma patients with the concentration in 46 patients with benign gynecologic tumors. Serum MK value in patients with cancer was significantly higher than that in the patients with benign diseases (P = 0.01). Patients with positive lymph node metastasis or recurrence, or cancer death, had a higher serum MK level (P = 0.008, P = 0.009, respectively). In conclusion, MK immunoreactivity in endometrial carcinoma is significantly higher than in normal endometrium. Additionally, preoperative serum MK levels are significantly correlated with prognosis and the presence of lymph node metastasis. Thus, MK may be a useful serum biomarker for identifying high risk patients of endometrial carcinoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research