Activation of mTOR signaling pathway associated with adverse prognostic factors of epithelial ovarian cancer

Jae Hong No, Yong Tark Jeon, In Ae Park, Yong Beom Kim, Jae Weon Kim, Noh Hyun Park, Soon Beom Kang, Jae Yong Han, Jeong Mook Lim, Yong Sang Song

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Objective: Activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway enhances cell survival and growth by regulating the efficiency of protein translation. This study was conducted to evaluate the association of activated mTOR signaling molecules with the clinicopathologic characteristics in epithelial ovarian cancer. Methods: Immunohistochemical staining with antibodies against p-4EBP1, p-mTOR, and p-p70S6K were performed on specimens of 103 patients with ovarian cancer. Tumors were classified as chemoresistant in cases where time to recurrence after the end of chemotherapy was shorter than 6 months. Results: Expressions of p-mTOR, p-4EBP1, and p-p70S6K were detected in 47.6%, 85.4%, and 64.1% of all patients, respectively. p-4EBP1 overexpression was associated with advanced stage (p = 0.04), histologic grade (p < 0.01), residual mass (p < 0.01), shorter disease-free survival rate (p = 0.01) and chemoresistance (p = 0.02). p-p70S6K was associated with residual mass with marginal significance (p = 0.06). p-4EBP1 expression was correlated with p-p70S6K expression (r = 0.42, p < 0.01), whereas p-mTOR was not associated with expression of its downstream effectors or prognostic factors. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that p-4EBP1 expression was associated with poor prognostic factors of ovarian cancer and that p-4EBP1 overexpression may be a prognostic biomarker of ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Epithelial ovarian cancer
  • p-4EBP1
  • p-mTOR
  • p-p70S6K

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