Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) products have been implicated in the regulation of immune system, tumor cell apoptosis, and angiogenesis in many human tumors. In this study, we investigated the expression of COX-2 and iNOS in ovarian carcinomas by immunohistochemistry and correlated the results with other prognostic parameters. Specimens from 100 ovarian carcinomas were studied by immunohistochemistry for COX-2 and iNOS expression, and angiogenesis microvessel density (MVD) was evaluated by CD34-stained microvessels. High COX-2 expression was observed in 85% of carcinomas. No correlation was found between COX-2 expression and clinicopathologic variables. Patients with high COX-2–expressed tumors had shorter overall survival, but it is not statistically significant. Expression of iNOS in serous and low-grade carcinomas was significantly higher than that in nonserous and high-grade carcinomas (P < 0.05). There was a positive correlation between COX-2 and iNOS expression (P= 0.009). No correlation of COX-2 and iNOS expression with MVD was found. Expression of iNOS showed no effect on survival of the patients. We found that iNOS expression might act in the first steps of carcinogenesis, whereas COX-2 expression was seen in more advanced tumors. Shorter overall survival of patients with high COX-2 expression might indicate new targets for therapy.
- inducible nitric oxide synthase
- ovarian carcinoma
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