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The Application Value of HNF-1β Transcription Factor in the Diagnosis of Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma

Li, Qing M.D.; Cheng, Xue B.Sc.; Ji, Jie B.Sc.; Zhang, Jingmin M.Sc.; Huang, Wenbin M.D.

International Journal of Gynecological Pathology: January 2016 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 - p 66–71
doi: 10.1097/PGP.0000000000000213

The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of HNF-1β in various types of epithelial ovarian cancers and to discuss its utilization in the diagnosis of ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC). This study was designed to detect HNF-1β proteins in 27 OCCCs, 35 high-grade serous carcinomas, 21 endometrioid adenocarcinomas, 10 mucinous carcinomas, 2 transitional cell carcinomas, and 13 metastatic Krukenberg tumors by EnVision immunohistochemical system. Twenty-three of 27 (85.2%) OCCCs showed diffuse moderate to strong nuclear staining for HNF-1β. In the 35 high-grade serous ovarian cancers, HNF-1β was detected in 1 (2.9%) case. Five of 21 (23.8%) ovarian endometrioid adenocarcinomas were positive for HNF-1β. Six cases of ovarian mucinous carcinomas displayed diffused moderate to strong nuclear HNF-1β expression, yielding a positive rate of 60%. In the 13 Krukenberg tumors, HNF-1β was detected in 7 cases with a positive rate of 53.8% and both ovary transitional cell carcinomas were negative for HNF-1β transcription factor. Compared with HNF1β expression in OCCCs, serous carcinomas and endometrial adenocarcinomas were significantly lower (P<0.01). However, HNF1β expression in mucinous carcinomas and Krukenberg tumors were not significantly different from the expression in OCCCs (P>0.05). Using HNF-1β as a diagnostic tool for OCCC showed a sensitivity and specificity of 85.2% and 76.5%, respectively. HNF-1β can serve as an OCCC marker with a relatively high sensitivity. The diffuse and strong HNF-1β expression pattern can be used to diagnose OCCCs with high specificity.

Department of Pathology (Q.L.), Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Hospital, Shanghai, China

Department of Pathology (X.C., J.J., J.Z.,), Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Hospital, Nanjing Medical University

Department of Pathology (X.C.), Clinical School of Medical College of Nanjing University

Department of Pathology (W.H.), Nanjing Hospital (Nanjing First Hospital), Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Wenbin Huang, Department of Pathology, Nanjing Hospital (Nanjing First Hospital), Nanjing Medical University, 68#, Changle Road, Nanjing 210006, China. E-mail:

©2016International Society of Gynecological Pathologists