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Open Access Review

Relevance of immunohistochemical expression of p57kip2 in epithelial ovarian carcinoma- A systematic literature review

Thumuluru Kavitha Madhuri12*, Anil Tailor1, Ben Haagsma3, Helen Coley2 and Simon Butler-Manuel1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XX, UK

2 Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

3 Department of Histopathology, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XX, UK

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Journal of Ovarian Research 2012, 5:46  doi:10.1186/1757-2215-5-46

Published: 21 December 2012



Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (EOC) is the second most common gynaecological cancer and accounts for more deaths than all gynaecological cancers combined. Despite extensive research, progress has been slow in understanding the pathobiology. EOC is identified as a heterogeneous malignancy with various histological subtypes. It is now well known that these different histological subtypes show differences in terms of presentation, response to treatment, immunohistochemical (IHC) reactivity and molecular profiling. Cell cycle deregulation is key in cancer development and there is some evidence in the literature that this is relevant to the problem of EOC and the development of drug resistant disease. The need to identify prognostic markers has led to several gene profiling studies using tumour tissue with equivocal results. p57kip2 is one such cell cycle regulator and its functions are being explored as recent research has shown that it is more than just a negative regulator of the cell cycle.


The aim of this review is to evaluate the literature around the IHC expression of p57kip2 in EOC.


Systematic review of the literature focussing on clinical outcome and immunohistochemical expression in epithelial ovarian cancer.


Four papers are discussed in this review and have shown great variation in IHC expression of p57kip2 in EOC. These studies incorporated different histological subtypes of EOC. However they all suggest that p57kip2 has a significant role in prognosis and its therapeutic indication needs to be studied. Multicentre collaborative studies on individual histological subtypes might provide more data and help to increase the number of cases especially for rarer tumours.

Epithelial ovarian cancer; Pathobiology; Histology; Immunohistchemistry; Cell cycle; Cyclin dependant kinase; p57kip2