By using immunohistochemistry we investigated the expression of EphA2 and EphrinA-1 in 217 early squamous cell cervical carcinomas and examine their prognostic relevance. For EphA2 expression, 21 tumors (10%) showed negative, 108 (50%) weak positive, 69 (32%) moderate positive and 19 (9%) strong positive, whereas for EphrinA-1 expression, 33 tumors (15%) showed negative, 91 (42%) weak positive, 67 (31%) moderate positive and 26 (12%) strong positive. In univariate analysis high expression (strong staining) of EphrinA-1 was associated with poor disease-free (P = 0.033) and disease-specific (P = 0.039) survival. However, in the multivariate analyses neither EphrinA-1 nor EphA2 was significantly associated to survival. The increased levels of EphA2 and EphrinA-1 in a relative high number of early stage squamous cell carcinomas suggested that these two proteins may play an important role in the development of a subset of early cervical cancers. However, EphA2 and EphrinA-1 were not independently associated with clinical outcome.
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