mRNA expression in low grade serous ovarian cancer: Results of a nanoString assay in a diverse population

Scott E. Jordan, Heba Saad, Alex Sanchez Covarrubias, John Siemon, J. Matt Pearson, Brian M. Slomovitz, Marilyn Huang, Andre Pinto, Matthew Schlumbrecht, Sophia HL George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Mutations in the MAP kinase pathway (KRAS, NRAS, BRAF) are common in low grade serous ovarian carcinoma (LGSOC). The effect of these and other mutations on RNA transcription in this disease is poorly understood. Our objective was to describe patterns of somatic mutations and gene transcription in a racially diverse population with LGSOC. Methods: Utilizing an institutional tumor registry, patients with LGSOC were identified and charts were reviewed. RNA was extracted from available tumor tissue. Commercial tumor profiling results were analyzed with PanCancer pathway nanoString mRNA expression data. Along with nanoString n-Solver software, Chi-squared, Fishers Exact, and Cox proportional hazards models were used for statistical analysis, with significance set at p < 0.05. Results: 39 patients were identified—20% Black, 43% Hispanic, and 36% non-Hispanic White. 18 patients had commercial somatic DNA test results, and 23 had available tumor tissue for RNA extraction and nanoString analysis. The most common somatic alterations identified was KRAS (11 patients, 61%), followed by ERCC1 and TUBB3 (9 each, 50%). KRAS mutations were less common in smokers (14.3% vs 90.9%, p = 0.002). RNA expression analysis demonstrated a greater than two-fold decrease in expression of HRAS in tumors from older patients (p = 0.04), and a greater than two-fold decrease in the expression of HRAS in recurrent tumors (p = 0.007). No significant differences were seen in somatic testing results, RNA expression analysis, or progression free survival between different racial and ethnic cohorts. Conclusions: Somatic deficiencies in ERCC1, TUBB3, and KRAS are common in LGSOC in a population of minority patients. HRAS demonstrates decreased expression in tumors from older patients and recurrent tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-562
Number of pages9
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Disparities
  • Health disparities
  • Low grade serous ovarian cancer
  • Somatic testing
  • nanoString

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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