Objective: To evaluate changes in Ki-67 expression during neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in advanced ovarian cancer.
Materials and Methods: Patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IIIC or IV and large-volume ascites were treated with NACT within a phase 2 trial. The expression of Ki-67 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry on paraffin-embedded tissue samples and classified by percentage of stained cells. Survival curves were plotted using the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: Comparison of 40 individual paired results from pretreatment and posttreatment samples revealed a median difference of −0.11 in the Ki-67 index (95% confidence interval, −0.20 to −0.01; P = 0.005, signed rank test). Univariate analysis identified a high Ki-67 index as well as an increasing Ki-67 index after NACT as significant prognostic markers for progression-free survival (P = 0.004 and P = 0.001; log-rank test). Six of 12 patients with an increased Ki-67 index after NACT developed recurrence within 6 months after therapy.
Conclusions: Changes of the Ki-67 index during NACT are associated with progression-free survival. If confirmed in prospective trials, an increasing Ki-67 index during preoperative treatment may serve as an indicator for resistance to chemotherapy.
- Ovarian cancer
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
- Prognostic factors
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Martin Pölcher and Nicolaus Friedrichs contributed equally to this work.