Research Article

Vimentin is not a reliable prognostic biomarker for cervical cancer

Published: December 31, 2019
Genet. Mol. Res. 18(4): GMR18386 DOI: 10.4238/gmr18386

Abstract

Vimentin is a cytoskeletal protein belonging to a family of intermediate filaments whose expression has been studied in human cancers due to its association with the mesenchymal epithelial transition, a cancer reactivation event that results in complex alterations in the expression of genes involved in the invasion and metastasis processes. Studies on the prognostic value of vimentin, using immunohistochemistry are scarce, with conflicting results. Our evaluation was performed based on 111 cases of cervical cancer, including different clinical stages and histological types. Our objective was to evaluate the vimentin expression in cervical cancers, investigating a possible prognostic role of this biomarker. The evaluation was performed by immunohistochemistry in cases of cervical cancer and the marking index was evaluated with regards to clinical and pathological aspects, and to survival. Vimentin expression was observed in 100% of the tumor specimens. Hyperexpression of this biomarker in tumor cells (> 40%) was observed in 25% of the cases; however, it was not associated with clinical and pathological, or prognostic aspects of cervical cancer. Five-year survival for this group of patients was 66%; it was influenced by age, tumor size, presence of lymph node metastases, presence of distant metastases, and clinical stage. Hyperexpression of vimentin was not found to be a prognostic factor for cervical cancer.

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