Purpose: A major obstacle in the treatment of ovarian carcinoma is the intrinsic/acquired resistance to cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Cu-transporting ATPase (ATP7B) has been reported to be associated with cisplatin resistance in vitro. However, the clinical significance of this transporter has not previously been addressed. Our goal was to investigate ATP7B expression in ovarian carcinoma and whether its expression correlates with prognosis and reduced responsiveness to cisplatin treatment. Experimental Design: We retrospectively examined the expression of ATP7B and p53 in primary ovarian carcinoma and its association with chemotherapeutic effect. Tissues were surgically removed from 104 ovarian carcinomas patients who received cisplatin-based chemotherapy. We performed immunohistochemical analysis of ATP7B and p53 using a monoclonal antibody against ATP7B and DO7 antibody against p53 protein in 104 ovarian carcinomas and adjacent nonneoplastic tissues. The significance of ATP7B and p53 in the prognosis of patients with ovarian carcinomas was also examined in the survival analysis of mortality follow-up data covering the period between 1988 and 2001. Furthermore, mutation analysis at the six Cu-binding domain and ATP-binding domain, which may be important for cisplatin transport, were performed using single-strand conformational polymorphism after reverse transcriptase-PCR. Results: A variable degree of cytoplasmic staining of ATP7B in tumor cells was observed in 34.6% (36 of 104 cases) of the analyzed carcinomas. ATP7B expression was not observed in adjacent nonneoplastic tissues. ATP7B positivity in poorly/moderately differentiated carcinoma was significantly higher than that in low malignant potential tumor/well-differentiated carcinoma (P = 0.0276). Patients with ATP7B-positive tumors had a significantly inferior response to chemotherapy compared with the patients with ATPTB-negative tumors (P = 0.025). The multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that ATP7B expression (hazard ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-3.2, P = 0.048), as well as International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians stage (hazard ratio, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.6, P = 0.018), was prognostic for poor disease outcome after adjustment for p53 expression, grade, and residual tumor. p53 expression was detected in 31.5% (26/104 cases). No mutation was observed on the six Cu-binding domain or ATP-binding domain in human ovarian carcinomas expressing ATP7B gene. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that overexpression of ATP7B in ovarian carcinoma is correlated with unfavorable clinical outcome in patients treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Therefore, ATP7B expression may be considered as a predictive marker of chemoresistance for cisplatin-based chemotherapy in patients with ovarian carcinoma. We further predict that drugs targeting ATP7B might be useful in combination with cisplatin-based regimen for the improvement of patients with ovarian carcinoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research