The outcome of patients with penile squamous cell carcinomas (PSCC) largely depends on occurrence of metastasis. Therefore, prognostic markers indicating the risk for tumor cell spreading would be useful. Since Annexins are potential prognostic markers in a variety of tumors, we immunohistochemically examined the expression of Annexins I, II and IV (ANX AI, ANX AII and ANX AIV) in PSCC. Samples originated from 29 patients subjected to surgical resection of invasive PSCC. Immunohistochemistry was done on paraffin-embedded sections using monoclonal antibodies against ANX AI, ANX AII and ANX AIV. Expression of ANXs was compared with clinical data. ANX AI expression was found in conventional PSCC and was absent in basaloid and sarcomatoid subtypes. High ANX AI score was significantly associated with higher T stages (P = 0.006). Strong expression in the invasion front of carcinomas was significantly associated with the occurrence of lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001). ANX AIV expression was weak in conventional PSCC, while it was strong in basaloid and sarcomatoid subtypes. Strong expression of Annnexin IV in the invasion front also showed a significant association with metastasis (P = 0.019). Expression of ANXs was different in histologic subtypes of penile carcinomas. Strong expression of ANX AI and ANX AIV in the invasion front seems to indicate a higher risk of lymph node metastasis.
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