C-kit immunoreactivity in endometrial adenocarcinomas and its clinicopathologic significance

Janice V. Scobie, Geza Acs, Christina A. Bandera, Stephanie V. Blank, James E. Wheeler, Teresa L. Pasha, Marilyn Salscheider, Paul J. Zhang

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26 Scopus citations


Summary: The proto-oncogene c-kit is a transmembrane-tyrosine-kinase receptor that is structurally related to the platelet-derived growth-factor receptor (PDGFR) and is involved in cell differentiation. C-kit has been found to be expressed in certain solid tumors and may play a role in their tumorigenesis. Recently, a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor specific for the PDGFR family, bcr-abl, and c-kit (STI571) has been reported to have therapeutic effects in tumors expressing the aberrant forms or high quantities of target proteins. Expression of c-kit has not been well evaluated in endometrial adenocarcinomas. In this study, c-kit immunoreactivity was evaluated on paraffin sections of 72 endometrial adenocarcinomas (57 endometrioid, 10 serous, and 5 clear cell) with a polyclonal antibody. Immunoreactivity of c-kit was analyzed semiquantitatively and correlated with various clinicopathologic factors. Cytoplasmic c-kit immunoreactivity was detected in 42 (58%) tumors. Thirty-four (60%) endometrioid, 8 (80%) serous, and 0 of the 5 clear-cell adenocarcinomas were c-kit positive. There was a significant correlation between c-kit positivity and the depth of myometrial invasion. Patients with c-kit-positive endometrial adenocarcinomas more frequently had metastases and shorter disease-free survival. Expression of c-kit may be a potentially adverse prognostic feature in endometrial adenocarcinoma. Patients with c-kit-positive advanced endometrial adenocarcinoma might benefit from tyrosine-kinase-inhibitor therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Endometrial adenocarcinoma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Prognosis
  • Tyrosine-kinase inhibitor
  • c-kit


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