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The measurement of tumour cell proliferation is becoming increasingly recognised in defining prognostic groups. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunolocalisation can be used as an index of cell proliferation and may define the extent of departure from normal growth control. The monoclonal antibody PC10 stains PCNA in archival paraffin-embedded tissue. This study investigates its potential as a prognostic marker in early and advanced ovarian cancer. A three-stage immunoperoxidase technique was developed to detect the monoclonal antibody PC10. Archival paraffin-embedded tissue from 19 stage I ovarian tumours (13 malignant and six borderline) and 79 advanced (stage IIb-IV) ovarian tumours (patients entered into the Third North-West Thames Ovarian Cancer Trial) was immunostained with PC10. PC10 immunostaining was performed successfully in 91.8% of cases. The PC10 labelling index (PC10 LI) ranged from 1.5% to 88% with a mean value of 47.4%. Stage I borderline tumours had significantly lower PCNA labelling indexes than stage I malignant tumours (P < 0.048). In advanced disease there was an inverse correlation between PC10 and overall survival, and in those patients who underwent good debulking surgery (37 patients with disease < 2 cm diameter) a low PC10 value (< 36.5%) correlated with improved survival (log-rank trend test for survival, chi 2 = 5.75, P = 0.017). PCNA immunostaining defines a good prognostic subgroup in adequately debulked patients with ovarian cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j cancer

Publication Date





357 - 362


Adult, Aged, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigens, Neoplasm, Biomarkers, Tumor, Carboplatin, Cell Division, Combined Modality Therapy, England, Female, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Laparotomy, Life Tables, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Neoplasm, Residual, Ovarian Neoplasms, Paraffin Embedding, Prognosis, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen, Radiotherapy, Adjuvant, Survival Analysis