Estrone sulfatase activity in patients with advanced ovarian cancer

Justin C. Chura, Charles H. Blomquist, Hyung S. Ryu, Peter A. Argenta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction: We sought to identify whether the sulfatase pathway was present in ovarian cancer specimens and then to determine whether a clinical correlation existed between sulfatase activity and survival. Materials and methods: Enzymatic activity was assessed in advanced ovarian cancer specimens via thin layer chromatography and standardized against total protein. All enzyme activities are reported in pmol/mg protein/30 min. Kaplan Meier curves of progression-free and overall survival were constructed to compare outcomes between patients with low sulfatase activity and high sulfatase activity. Median survival rates were compared using the log-rank test for survival curves. Differences in proportions between patients with low sulfatase activity versus high sulfatase activity were compared with the z-test or chi-square analysis as appropriate. Results: 37 specimens from patients with advanced stage ovarian cancer were analyzed. Enzymatic activity was detected in all specimens except one. Median progression-free survival was 23.5 months for patients with low sulfatase activity compared to 6.9 months for patients with high sulfatase activity (p = 0.008). Median overall survival favored the low sulfatase group (50.8 vs. 30.6 months respectively), though statistical difference was not detected (p = 0.16). No other difference in clinical characteristics between patients with high or low sulfatase activity was detected. Conclusions: Sulfatase activity is widely present in ovarian cancer specimens. Increased sulfatase activity is associated with worse progression-free survival in patients with advanced stage ovarian cancer. The sulfatase pathway is a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was sponsored by a grant from the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Carcinoma
  • Endocrine therapy
  • Estrogen
  • Estrone sulfate
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Steroid converting enzymes

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