Association of urokinase-type plasminogen activator and its inhibitor with disease progression and prognosis in ovarian cancer CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Konecny, G., Untch, M., Pihan, A., Kimmig, R., Gropp, M., Stieber, P., Hepp, H., Slamon, D., Pegram, M. 2001; 7 (6): 1743-1749


Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its inhibitor, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1, have been shown to be related to poor prognosis in a variety of malignant solid tumors. Studies on the prognostic relevance of uPA and PAI-1 in ovarian cancer, however, have been inconclusive. The current study tests the hypothesis that elevated expression of uPA and PAI-1 is associated with prognosis and disease progression.uPA and PAI-1 were prospectively measured by quantitative ELISA in tumor samples from 103 ovarian cancer patients (82 primary invasive epithelial carcinomas, 9 low malignant potential tumors, and 12 recurrent ovarian carcinomas).uPA but not PAI-1 levels were consistently associated with malignant progression, with levels increased from low malignant potential tumors to primary tumors (uPA, P = 0.04; PAI-1, P = 0.019), from early to advanced disease stages (uPA, P = 0.014; PAI-1, P = 0.23), and from primary to intra-abdominal metastatic tumors (uPA, P = 0.001; PAI-1, P = 0.16). High uPA and PAI-1 levels were associated with residual tumor volumes of >1 cm (P = 0.001 and P = 0.016, respectively). Among invasive International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetrician stages I-IV tumors, elevated levels of uPA (>5.5 ng/mg) and PAI-I (>18.8 ng/ml) were associated with a shortened progression-free survival (uPA, P = 0.003; PAI-1, P = 0.039) and overall survival (uPA, P = 0.0002; PAI-1, P = 0.007). In multivariate analysis, uPA retained prognostic independence for progression-free survival (P = 0.037) and overall survival (P = 0.006).These data suggest that the uPA/PAI-1 axis may play an important role in the intra-abdominal spread and reimplantation of ovarian cancer cells. The prognostic relevance of uPA and PAI-1 supports their possible role in the malignant progression of ovarian cancer.

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View details for PubMedID 11410515