OBJECTIVES: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II antigens are expressed on antigen-presenting cells, that is, macrophages, dendritic cells, and B lymphocytes. Under the influence of IFN-γ, HLA class II molecules can also be expressed on T lymphocytes, epithelial and endothelial cells. In addition, HLA class II antigens can be expressed in a variety of malignancies; however, the link with prognosis and ultimately patient survival is controversial.
METHODS: The pattern of HLA-DRA expression in cervical carcinoma was studied using immunohistochemistry. In total, 124 cervical carcinomas were examined, of which 60 (48.4%) were squamous cell carcinomas and 64 (51.6%) were adenocarcinomas.
RESULTS: In squamous cell carcinoma, HLA-DRA was expressed in 41 (68.3%) of 60 tumors, whereas in adenocarcinoma, HLA-DRA was expressed in 60 (93.8%) of 64 tumors (P < 0.001). In adenocarcinoma, HLA-DRA expression was associated with an increased disease-free survival (211.0 ± 13.0 vs 53.3 ± 30.5 months; P = 0.004) and disease-specific survival (226.45 ± 11.5 vs 75.8 ± 27.6 months; P = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS: Upregulation of HLA-DRA is significantly related to an increased disease-free and disease-specific survival in cervical adenocarcinoma. These data warrant further analysis of the functional role of HLA-DRA in these tumors.