The oncogenic gene fusion TMPRSS2: ERG is not a diagnostic or prognostic marker for ovarian cancer

Lillian Huang, Isaiah G. Schauer, Jing Zhang, Imelda Mercado-Uribe, Michael T. Deavers, Jiaoti Huang, Jinsong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


TMPRSS2:ERG is a gene fusion resulting from the chromosomal rearrangement of the androgen-regulated TMPRSS2 gene and the ETS transcription factor ERG, leading to the over-expression of the oncogenic molecule ERG. This gene rearrangement has been found in approximately half of all prostate cancers and ERG overexpression is considered as a novel diagnostic marker for prostate carcinoma. However, little is known about the role of the TMPRSS2:ERG gene fusion in ovarian cancer. The purpose of this study was to test ERG expression in ovarian cancer and its potential as a diagnostic marker for ovarian carcinoma progression. A tissue microarray containing 180 ovarian cancer tissues of various pathological types and grades were examined by immunohistochemical analysis for expression of ERG. We also used 40 prostate carcinoma tissues and 40 normal tissues for comparison in parallel experiments. ERG-positive expression was detected in 40% of the prostate tumor cancer, as well as in internal positive control endothelial cells, confirming over-expression of ERG in prostate cancer at relatively the same rate observed by others. In contrast, all of the ovarian tumor patient tissues of varying histologic types were ERG-negative, despite some positivity in endothelial cells. These results suggest that the oncogenic gene fusion TMPRSS2:ERG does not occur in ovarian cancer relative to prostate cancer. Therefore, development of ERG expression profile would not be a useful diagnostic or prognostic marker for ovarian cancer patient screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-650
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of clinical and experimental pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2011


  • Androgens
  • Erg
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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