gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Expression of focal adhesion kinase (pp125FAK) in patients with cervical cancer is associated with disease outcome

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Boris Gabriel - Universitätsfrauenklinik Freiburg, Deutschland
  • Axel zur Hausen - Insitut für Pathologie der Universität Freiburg
  • Elmar Stickeler - Universitätsfrauenklinik Freiburg
  • Carola Dietz - Universitätsfrauenklinik Freiburg
  • Gerald Gitsch - Universitätsfrauenklinik Freiburg
  • Dagmar-C. Fischer - Universitätskinder- und Jugenklinik Rostock
  • Jiri Bouda - Frauenklinik Plzen, Tschechische Republik
  • Clemens Tempfer - Universitätsklinik für Frauenheilkunde Wien
  • Annette Hasenburg - Universitätsfrauenklinik Freiburg

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocOP344

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Gabriel et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: The pp125 Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) plays a pivotal role in tumor cell-signaling, but data on cervical cancer are inconclusive. Our goal was to characterize the expression of FAK protein in 162 patients with invasive cervical cancer and correlate these findings with clinicopathologic parameters and patient survival.

Methods: In this retrospective study FAK expression was examined by means of immunohistochemistry with sections from 162 resected cervical cancer specimens. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to determine the significance of FAK expression in the prognosis of cervical cancer patients.

Results: Specific FAK expression was found in the tumor cells, whereas normal cervical epithelium showed barely any FAK expression. Of 162 invasive cervical cancer specimens, 55 (34%) revealed weak expression of FAK, whereas moderate and strong expression was found in 63 (39%) and 44 tumors (27%), respectively. Patients with tumors expressing weak amounts of FAK were characterized by a significantly poorer overall survival compared to those with moderate and high intratumoral FAK expression (p=0.002). Weak expression of FAK correlated with pelvic lymph node metastasis (p=0.026) and recurrent disease (p=0.013). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed decreased FAK expression and pelvic lymph node metastasis to be significant independent factors predictive of poor patient outcome (hazard ratios, 0.36; P=0.005 and 2.38; P=0.018, respectively).

Conclusion: Weak expression of FAK in invasive cervical cancer is a strong independent predictor of poor patient outcome. In particular, FAK expression is a highly potential marker identifying patients at high risk even at an early clinical stage.