Overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 is associated with a poor prognosis in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix treated with radiation and concurrent chemotherapy

Authors

  • Yong Bae Kim M.D.,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Gwi Eon Kim M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    • Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seodaemoon-Gu, Shinchon-Dong 134 Seoul 120-752, Korea
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    • Fax: 82-2-312-9033

  • Nam Hoon Cho M.D.,

    1. Department of Pathology, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Hong Ryull Pyo M.D.,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Su Jung Shim M.D.,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Sei Kyung Chang M.D.,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Hee Chul Park M.D.,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Chang Ok Suh M.D.,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Tchan Kyu Park M.D.,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Byung Soo Kim M.D.

    1. Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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Abstract

BACKGROUND

The objective of this study was to determine whether cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) overexpression was an indicator of prognosis in patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Stage IIB uterine cervical carcinoma who underwent radiation and concurrent chemotherapy.

METHODS

Seventy-five patients with FIGO Stage IIB squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the uterine cervix who were treated with radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy between 1991 and 1996 were divided into two groups according to their COX-2 level in an immunohistochemical study: the COX-2 negative group (n = 54 patients) and the COX-2 positive group (n = 21 patients). The clinicopathologic features, patterns of treatment failure, and survival data for patients in the COX-2 positive group were compared with data from the patients in the COX-2 negative group. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the prognostic factors that influenced patient survival.

RESULTS

In the immunohistochemical study, COX-2 overexpression was observed in approximately 30% of patients with FIGO Stage IIB SCC of the uterine cervix. With delayed regression to the initial treatment, the treatment failure rate of patients in the COX-2 positive group was much higher compared with the treatment failure rate of patients in the COX-2 negative group. The higher incidence of central failure and lymph node failure for patients in the COX-2 positive group was statistically significant (48% for the COX-2 positive group vs. 13% for the COX-2 negative group). However, there was no difference in the incidence of hematogenous metastases between the two groups (5% for the COX-2 positive group vs. 7% for the COX-2 negative group). In addition, increased COX-2 expression in tumor cells also was correlated with a shorter interval to tumor recurrence (median interval to recurrence, 9 months in the COX-2 positive group vs. 26 months in the COX-2 negative group). Compared with patients in the COX-2 negative group, patients in the COX-2 positive group had lower overall actuarial and disease free survival rates (overall 5-year actuarial survival rates: 56% for the COX-2 positive group vs. 94% for the COX-2 negative group; P = 0.003). Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that COX-2 overexpression was an independent prognostic factor that surpassed other well-known clinicopathologic parameters.

CONCLUSIONS

COX-2 overexpression can be used as a potent molecular risk factor in patients with FIGO Stage IIB SCC of the uterine cervix who are treated with radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy. Cancer 2002;95:531–9. © 2002 American Cancer Society.

DOI 10.1002/cncr.10684

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