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Expression of ERCC1, p53, and Class III β-Tubulin Do Not Reveal Chemoresistance in Endometrial Cancer: Results From an Immunohistochemical Study
  1. Ingrid Vandenput, MD*,
  2. An Capoen, MD,
  3. Lieve Coenegrachts, PhD*,
  4. Godelieve Verbist*,
  5. Philippe Moerman, MD, PhD,
  6. Ignace Vergote, MD, PhD* and
  7. Frédéric Amant, MD, PhD*
  1. *Leuven Cancer Institute, Gynecologic Oncology, and
  2. Department of Pathology, UZ Gasthuisberg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Frédéric Amant, MD, PhD, Division of Gynecological Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: frederic.amant{at}


Background: In non-small cell lung cancer, expression of excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) and p53 correlates with platinum resistance and class III β-tubulin with resistance to taxanes. The potential to personalize treatment in endometrial cancer remains uninvestigated.

Methods: Patients received platinum-based chemotherapy, with or without paclitaxel. Patients were divided into 2 groups: group A (n = 33) consisted of patients with early-stage endometrial cancer treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Group B (n = 116) included cases with primary advanced or recurrent disease. Immunohistochemistry was performed to analyze the expression of ERCC1 and p53, for all cases, and class III β-tubulin for cases treated with paclitaxel. The findings were correlated with response according to Response Criteria in Solid Tumors; recurrence-free, disease-specific survival; and established prognostic markers.

Results: The mean age of 149 patients was 64 years (range, 31-84 years). Distribution of histopathologic subtypes was as follows: 44 endometrioid (30%), 92 serous/clear cell (62%), and 13 carcinosarcomas (8%).

In group A, 11 (33%) and 19 patients (58%) showed expression for ERCC1 and p53, respectively. Seven (78%) of nine patients receiving paclitaxel were positive for class III β-tubulin. There was no correlation between expression of ERCC1, p53, or class III β-tubulin and recurrence or survival. In group B, 25 (22%) and 61 patients (64%) were positive for ERCC1 and p53, respectively. Fifty-two (74%) of seventy patients receiving paclitaxel were positive for class III β-tubulin. Only p53 expression correlated with survival (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: In contrast to theoretical assumptions, the current study did not reveal evidence that the expression of ERCC1 and class III β-tubulin predicts response to cytotoxic treatment and patient outcome in endometrial cancer.

  • Endometrial cancer
  • ERCC1
  • Class III β-tubulin
  • p53
  • Platinum based
  • Paclitaxel

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  • Dr Amant is clinical researcher for the Research Foundation-Flanders (F.W.O.).