The molecular genetics of human cervical cancer remains to be defined to a significant extent. The current study examined the prevalence and significance of proto-oncogene c-fos overexpression in cervical cancer. Immunohistochemical staining of c-fos oncoprotein was performed in 27 invasive cervical carcinomas and 30 cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CINs) managed in our department. Eight normal cervical specimens were used as controls. In the patients with invasive cervical cancer, 8 were stage I, 12 were stage II, and 7 had stage III–IV disease. Three of the cancers were well differentiated, 18 were moderately differentiated and 6 were poorly differentiated. Twenty invasive cervical carcinomas (59%) and 3 CIN (10%) showed overexpression of c-fos. The difference is statistically significant (p < 0.001). No statistically significant relationship was found between c-fos overexpression and clinical stage, histological grade, or survival in invasive cervical cancer. In this population, c-fos overexpression appears to be common in invasive cercial cancer and correlated with the ability of the tumor to become invasive, but is not associated with the progression of cervical cancer.

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