Objective: This study aimed to analyze the prognostic value of DNA content and biological markers for cell cycle regulation and invasion in primary carcinoma of the vagina (PCV).
Material and Methods: Seventy-two consecutive patients with PCV, categorized as short-term (≤2 years) and long-term (≥8 years) survivors, were evaluated for DNA content by image cytometry, and for expression of p53, p21, cyclin A, Ki67, E-cadherin, and laminin-5γ2 chain by immunohistochemistry. The relationship between these biological markers and histopathological and clinical parameters was assessed.
Results: All PCV showed aneuploid DNA content. Most of the PCV patients showed no overexpression of p53 and high expression of p21, cyclin A, and Ki67. Loss or underexpression of E-cadherin was found in 94% (68/72) of PCV patients, and all patients showed immunopositivity for the laminin-5γ2 chain. Tumors with a vaginal longitudinal location in the lower third or in the entire vagina more often had overexpression of p53, high expression of Ki67 (P = 0.044), and underexpression of E-cadherin (P = 0.038), than tumors confined only to the upper third. Overexpression of p53 was significantly associated with short-term survival in the univariate analysis, but not in the multivariate analysis adjusted for age at diagnosis and tumor size.
Conclusions: The expression level of some markers was related to tumor location, which might be indicative of different genesis. Overexpression of p53 was associated with short-term survival, but the only independent predictors of survival were age at diagnosis and tumor size.