Pooled clustering of high-grade serous ovarian cancer gene expression leads to novel consensus subtypes associated with survival and surgical outcomes

Chen Wang, Sebastian M. Armasu, Kimberly R. Kalli, Matthew J. Maurer, Ethan P. Heinzen, Gary Keeney, William Arthur Cliby, Ann L Oberg, Scott H Kaufmann, Ellen L Goode

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27 Scopus citations


Purpose: Here we assess whether molecular subtyping identifies biological features of tumors that correlate with survival and surgical outcomes of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). Experimental Design: Consensus clustering of pooled mRNA expression data from over 2,000 HGSOC cases was used to define molecular subtypes of HGSOCs. This de novo classification scheme was then applied to 381 Mayo Clinic HGSOC patients with detailed survival and surgical outcome information. Results: Five molecular subtypes of HGSOC were identified. In the pooled dataset, three subtypes were largely concordant with prior studies describing proliferative, mesenchymal, and immunoreactive tumors (concordance > 70%), and the group of tumors previously described as differentiated type was segregated into two new types, one of which (anti-mesenchymal) had downregulation of genes that were typically upregulated in the mesenchymal subtype. Molecular subtypes were significantly associated with overall survival (P < 0.001) and with rate of optimal surgical debulking (≤1 cm, P = 1.9E-4) in the pooled dataset. Among stage III-C or IV Mayo Clinic patients, molecular subtypes were also significantly associated with overall survival (P = 0.001), as well as rate of complete surgical debulking (no residual disease; 16% in mesenchymal tumors compared with >28% in other subtypes; P = 0.02). Conclusions: HGSOC tumors may be categorized into five molecular subtypes that associate with overall survival and the extent of residual disease following debulking surgery. Because mesenchymal tumors may have features that were associated with less favorable surgical outcome, molecular subtyping may have future utility in guiding neoadjuvant treatment decisions for women with HGSOC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4077-4085
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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