Association of hCG and LHCGR expression patterns with clinicopathological parameters in ovarian cancer.


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, China. Electronic address: [Email]


In addition to its critical role during pregnancy, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) has been shown to be expressed by various tumor types. Recent studies have similarly documented the presence of the luteinizing hormone (LH)/hCG receptor (LHCGR) in a variety of nongonadal organs; however, its clinicopathological significance in ovarian cancer remains unclear. The present study used a combination of immunohistochemical, real-time PCR, and western blot analyses to examine hCG and LHCGR expression in normal and cancerous tissues collected from patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). hCG and LHCGR expression levels were resultantly shown to be significantly increased and decreased in cancerous versus normal (or benign) ovarian tissues, respectively (P < 0.05), and both expression pattern changes were associated with more advanced tumor stages and a higher rate of metastasis. Furthermore, patients with tumors with high or low levels of hCG and LHCGR, respectively, experienced a worse overall survival (OS) rate than those with low hCG or high LHCGR expression levels (P < 0.05). In fact, hCG and LHCGR expression levels were independent prognostic factors of patient OS (P < 0.05) for EOC. Collectively, these findings indicate that hCG and LHCGR expression pattern changes are associated with EOC occurrence and progression. Thus, hCG and LHCGR represent promising potential targets to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of patients with EOC.


Epithelial ovarian cancer,Human chorionic gonadotrophin,Luteinizing hormone,Luteinizing hormone (LH)/hCG receptor,Overall survival,