Sphingosine-kinase-1 expression is associated with improved overall survival in high-grade serous ovarian cancer

L. C. Hanker*, A. El-Balat, Z. Drosos, S. Kommoss, T. Karn, U. Holtrich, G. Gitas, M. Graeser-Mayer, M. Anglesio, D. Huntsman, A. Rody, H. Gevensleben, F. Hoellen

*Corresponding author for this work


Purpose: Sphingosine-kinase-1 (SPHK1) is a key enzyme of sphingolipid metabolism which is involved in ovarian cancer pathogenesis, progression and mechanisms of drug resistance. It is overexpressed in a variety of cancer subtypes. We investigated SPHK1 expression as a prognostic factor in epithelial ovarian cancer patients. Methods: Expression analysis of SPHK1 was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue from 1005 ovarian cancer patients with different histological subtypes using immunohistochemistry. Staining intensity of positive tumor cells was assessed semi-quantitatively, and results were correlated with clinicopathological characteristics and survival. Results: In our ovarian cancer collective, high levels of SPHK1 expression correlated significantly with complete surgical tumor resection (p = 0.002) and lower FIGO stage (p = 0.04). Progression-free and overall survival were further significantly longer in patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer and overexpression of SPHK1 (p = 0.002 and p = 0.006, respectively). Conclusion: Our data identify high levels of SPHK1 expression as a potential favorable prognostic marker in ovarian cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1421-1430
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 05.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)
  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)


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