High expression of SQSTM1/p62 (p62) protein, which functions as a hub for various cellular signaling pathways, has been detected in several human cancers. However, the clinicopathological impact of high p62 expression is largely unknown in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Here, the expression level of p62 in primary EOCs (n=266) was assessed by immunohistochemistry, and its clinical significance was analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine the impact of p62 expression on overall survival. p62 was expressed in the cytoplasm (Cyto) and/or nucleus (Nuc) in primary EOCs, and an expression subtype (CytoHigh/NucLow), showing high expression in the cytoplasm but low expression in the nucleus, was significantly correlated with serous carcinoma (P<0.001), advanced stage (P=0.005), presence of residual tumor (P<0.001), and low overall survival rate (P=0.013). Furthermore, in serous carcinomas (n=107), the p62 CytoHigh/NucLow subtype was significantly correlated with low overall survival rate (P=0.019) as an independent factor (P=0.044). Thus, our findings suggest that high expression of cytoplasmic p62 may be a novel prognostic biomarker in EOC, particularly in serous carcinoma.
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