[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The stem cell factor (SCF) receptor CD117 (c-kit), is widely used for identification of hematopoietic stem cells and cancer stem cells. Moreover, CD117 expression in carcinoma cells indicates a poor prognosis in a variety of cancers. However the potential expression in tumor microenvironment and the biological and clinical impact are currently not reported. The expression of CD117 was immunohistochemically evaluated in a serial of 242 epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cases. Thirty-eight out of 242 cases were CD117 positive in fibroblast-like stromal cells and 22 cases were positive in EOC cells. Four cases were both positive in fibroblast-like stromal cells and EOC cells for CD117. CD117 expression in fibroblast-like stromal cells in ovarian carcinoma was closely linked to advanced FIGO stage, poor differentiation grade and histological subtype (p<0.05), and it was significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) (Kaplan-Meier analysis; p<0.05, log-rank test). CD117 expression in ovarian carcinoma cells was not associated with these clinicopathological variables. The CD117 positive fibroblast-like stromal cells were all positive for mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) marker CD73 but negative for fibroblast markers fibroblast activation protein (FAP) and α smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), indicating that the CD117+/CD73+ fibroblast-like stromal cells are a subtype of mesenchymal stem cells in tumor stroma, although further characterization of these cells are needed. It is concluded herewith that the presence of CD117+/CD73+ fibroblast-like stromal cells in ovarian carcinoma is an unfavorable clinical outcome indication.
PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e112209. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112209 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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