Ovarian cancer is a heterogeneous disease, with a number of different histological subtypes with various responses to treatment. Wilms’ tumor 1 (WT1) immunoreactivity is used to distinguish between OC’s various subtypes. However, little is known about the protein’s role as a prognostic factor. Thus, the main aim of our study was to evaluate the relationship between WT1 expression and patient overall survival (OS) and lymph node metastases.
Study group consisted of 164 women aged 22-84, diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). WT1expression in histological slides was assessed by immunohistochemistry.
Serous tumors were the most common subtype among EOC (n = 126; 76.8%), followed by endometrioid (n = 20; 12.2%), clear-cell (n = 14; 8.5%) and mucinous cancer (n = 4; 2.4%). Of all serous EOC, WT1-positive tumors accounted for 75.6% of cases and this number was significantly higher than in other histological subtypes (p < 0.0001). Patients with lymph node metastases were more likely to have WT1-positive than WT1-negative tumors (p = 0.006). There was no significant correlation between WT1 immunoreactivity and OS across the whole study group of EOC patients (p = 0.6); however, in the group of non-serous (mucinous, endometrioid and clear-cell) EOC subjects, WT1 immunoreactivity was associated with shorter OS (p = 0.046).
WT1 immunoreactivity may be helpful in differentiating primary epithelial serous carcinomas from non-serous ovarian cancers; however, its prognostic role in EOC is rather uncertain.