Alterations in the retinoblastoma pathway are frequent in ovarian/tubal high-grade serous cancers, but the mechanism of deregulation and the impact on patient outcome are poorly understood. A cohort of 334 high-grade serous carcinomas was studied by immunohistochemical analysis of RB1, p16, cyclin D1, cyclin E1, and Ki67. Additional detailed analyses including RB1 allelic deletion (n=42), mutation (n=75), methylation (n=31), and SNP array analyses (n=75) were performed on cases with clinical parameters, including age, debulking status, treatment, and clinical outcome. p16/RB1 expression results yielded three distinct clinically relevant subgroups upon multivariable analysis controlling for stage, debulking status, and treatment types: p16 homogeneous/RB1+ with the shortest progression-free survival (median 15 months (95% CI: 13-18); P=0.016) compared with the p16 heterogeneous/RB1+ subgroup (median 22 months (95% CI: 16-32)) and the p16 homogeneous/RB1- subgroup (median 20 months (95% CI: 15-24)). Patients in the p16 homo/RB1- subgroup showed a significant increase in overall survival (>60 months; P=0.013), which suggests an increase in sensitivity to cytotoxic agents. Analyses of Rb pathway mechanistic differences among these groups revealed frequent RB1 genomic alterations such as RB1 allelic loss and/or large spanning deletions (83%) in the p16 homo/RB1- subgroups, also indicating that RB1 deletions are frequent in high-grade serous carcinoma. CCNE1 gene gains/amplifications were frequent in the p16 homogeneous/RB1+ subgroup (68%) and cyclin D1 protein overexpression was predominantly characteristic of the p16 heterogeneous/RB1+ subgroup. These subcategories occur early in tumor progression and are seen with similar frequency in the cancer precursor lesion, serous tubal intra-epithelial carcinoma. Overall, this study uniquely identifies multiple non-synonymous mechanisms of retinoblastoma pathway deregulation that correlate with significantly different clinical outcomes. Furthermore, deregulations identified in precursor lesions suggest a key role of this pathway in serous tumor development. Recognition of these categories may identify patients with increased sensitivity to chemotherapy and new opportunities for novel therapeutics.
- clinical outcome
- genomic alterations
- ovarian carcinoma
- retinoblastoma pathway
- serous tubal intraepithelial lesions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine