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Expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in epithelial ovarian tumors and its relation to vascular endothelial growth factor and p53 expression
  1. J. S. Lee*,
  2. Y. D. Choi*,
  3. J. H. Lee*,
  4. J. H. Nam*,
  5. C. Choi*,
  6. M. C. Lee*,
  7. C. S. Park*,
  8. S. W. Juhng* and
  9. K. W. Min
  1. * Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Medical School and Research Institute of Medical Science, Gwangju, Korea
  2. Department of Pathology, Deaconess Hospital, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Korea
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Ji Shin Lee, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital 160, IIsim-ri, Hwasun-eup, Hwasun-gun, Jeollanam-do 519-809, Republic of Korea. Email: jshinlee{at}
  1. This work was presented in part at the XXV International Congress of the International Academy of Pathology, Queensland, Australia, October 10–15, 2004.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in epithelial ovarian tumors and its correlation with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and p53 expression. Immunohistochemical studies with anti-COX-2, anti-VEGF, and anti-p53 antibodies were carried out in 54 malignant and 23 borderline epithelial ovarian tumors. Elevated COX-2 expression was detected in 77.8% of ovarian carcinomas, which was significantly higher than that of borderline tumors (26.1%) (P < 0.001). In ovarian carcinomas, there was no significant correlation between COX-2 expression and other clinicopathologic features. Elevated VEGF expression was detected in 74.1% of ovarian carcinomas, and p53 expression was found in 64.8% of ovarian carcinomas. COX-2 expression was statistically correlated with elevated VEGF expression (P < 0.001) and p53 positivity (P < 0.05). On a univariate analysis, FIGO stage (P < 0.0001), histologic type (P= 0.0104), and COX-2 expression (P= 0.0135) were significant prognostic factors for overall survival. In a multivariate analysis, FIGO stage (P < 0.0001) was the only independent prognostic factor for poor survival. These findings suggest that COX-2 may play a role in the progression of epithelial ovarian tumors and that COX-2 expression may contribute to ovarian tumor angiogenesis by stimulating VEGF expression. p53 may be responsible for the regulation of COX-2 expression.

  • COX-2
  • immunohistochemistry
  • ovary
  • p53
  • VEGF

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