Scoring mechanisms of p16INK4a immunohistochemistry based on either independent nucleic stain or mixed cytoplasmic with nucleic expression can significantly signal to distinguish between endocervical and endometrial adenocarcinomas in a tissue microarray study

Chiew Loon Koo, Lai Fong Kok, Ming Yung Lee, Tina S. Wu, Ya Wen Cheng, Jeng Dong Hsu, Alexandra Ruan, Kuan Chong Chao, Chih Ping Han

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Background: Endocervical adenocarcinomas (ECAs) and endometrial adenocarcinomas (EMAs) are malignancies that affect uterus; however, their biological behaviors are quite different. This distinction has clinical significance, because the appropriate therapy may depend on the site of tumor origin. The purpose of this study is to evaluate 3 different scoring mechanisms of p16INK4a immunohistochemical (IHC) staining in distinguishing between primary ECAs and EMAs. Methods: A tissue microarray (TMA) was constructed using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue from hysterectomy specimens, including 14 ECAs and 24 EMAs. Tissue array sections were immunostained with a commercially available antibody of p16INK4a. Avidin-biotin complex (ABC) method was used for antigens visualization. The staining intensity and area extent of the IHC reactions was evaluated using the semi-quantitative scoring system. The 3 scoring methods were defined on the bases of the following: (1) independent cytoplasmic staining alone (Method C), (2) independent nucleic staining alone (Method N), and (3) mean of the sum of cytoplasmic score plus nucleic score (Method Mean of C plus N). Results: Of the 3 scoring mechanisms for p16INK4a expression, Method N and Method Mean of C plus N showed significant (p-values <0.05), but Method C showed non-significant (p = 0.245) frequency differences between ECAs and EMAs. In addition, Method Mean of C plus N had the highest overall accuracy rate (81.6%) for diagnostic distinction among these 3 scoring methods. Conclusion: According to the data characteristics and test effectiveness in this study, Method N and Method Mean of C plus N can significantly signal to distinguish between ECAs and EMAs; while Method C cannot do. Method Mean of C plus N is the most promising and favorable means among the three scoring mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Apr 14 2009
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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