SOX11 and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Metastatic Serous Ovarian Cancer
Background: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological malignancies, with serous carcinoma being the most common histopathologic subtype. Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) correlates with increased metastatic potential, whereas the transcription factor SRY-box transcription factor 11 (SOX11) is overexpressed in diverse malignancies. Methods: In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the potential role of the immunohistochemical expression of SOX11 in 30 serous ovarian carcinomas in association with E-cadherin and vimentin expression as well as with patients’ clinicopathological data. Results: Most of the examined cases showed concurrent expression of E-cadherin and vimentin, whereas SOX11 was expressed in a minority of the cases (26.7%). Interestingly, the positive cases more frequently had a metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis compared with the negative cases ( p = 0.09), an association, however, of marginal significance. Moreover, there was a negative correlation between E-cadherin and SOX11 expression ( p = 0.0077) and a positive correlation between vimentin and SOX11 expression ( p = 0.0130). Conclusions: The present work, for the first time, provides preliminary evidence of a possible implication of SOX11 overexpression in the promotion of EMT in metastatic serous ovarian cancer, thereby endorsing tumor metastasis.