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Cell cycle proteins as molecular markers of malignant change in vulvar lichen sclerosus
  1. K. J. Rolfe1,
  2. L. J. Eva1,
  3. A. B. Maclean1,
  4. J. C. Crow2,
  5. C. W. Perrett1 and
  6. W. M. N. Reid1
  1. 1Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and
  2. 2Histopathology, Royal Free and University College Medical School (Royal Free Campus), University College London, London, UK.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Miss W. M. N. Reid, Consultant Gynaecologist, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Royal Free and University College Medical School (Royal Free Campus), Rowland Hill Street, London, NW3 2PF. UK. Presented in poster form at the British Society for the Study of Vulval Disease, Oxford, 1998. K. Rolfe is supported by a scholarship from the Williams Trust, University of London.


Lichen sclerosus (LS) has a known association with the development of squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva. The purpose of this study was to investigate molecular markers, which could indicate premalignant changes. Multiple sequential vulvar biopsies were taken over a period of 11 years from a patient with longstanding LS. Immunohistochemical staining was used to demonstrate a range of molecular markers.

Increased expression of p53 and Ki67 was found in areas of squamous hyperplasia (SH) and differentiated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (dVIN) which correlated with the subsequent development of invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Molecular changes have been found to accompany histologic changes in the progression of vulvar LS to malignancy. Such markers may prove a useful addition in the clinical management of these conditions.

  • histology
  • Ki67
  • p53
  • premalignant
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • vulva

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