BackgroundPTEN loss is a putative driver in histotypes of ovarian cancer (high-grade serous (HGSOC), endometrioid (ENOC), clear cell (CCOC), mucinous (MOC), low-grade serous (LGSOC)). We aimed to characterise PTEN expression as a biomarker in epithelial ovarian cancer in a large population-based study.
MethodsTumours from 5400 patients from a multicentre observational, prospective cohort study of the Ovarian Tumour Tissue Analysis Consortium were used to evaluate associations between immunohistochemical PTEN patterns and overall survival time, age, stage, grade, residual tumour, CD8+ tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) counts, expression of oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and androgen receptor (AR) by means of Cox proportional hazard models and generalised Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests.
ResultsDownregulation of cytoplasmic PTEN expression was most frequent in ENOC (most frequently in younger patients; p value = 0.0001) and CCOC and was associated with longer overall survival in HGSOC (hazard ratio: 0.78, 95% CI: 0.65-0.94, p value = 0.022). PTEN expression was associated with ER, PR and AR expression (p values: 0.0008, 0.062 and 0.0002, respectively) in HGSOC and with lower CD8 counts in CCOC (p value < 0.0001). Heterogeneous expression of PTEN was more prevalent in advanced HGSOC (p value = 0.019) and associated with higher CD8 counts (p value = 0.0016).
ConclusionsPTEN loss is a frequent driver in ovarian carcinoma associating distinctly with expression of hormonal receptors and CD8+ TIL counts in HGSOC and CCOC histotypes.