High Wilms' tumour gene (WT1) expression and low mitotic count are independent predictors of survival in diffuse peritoneal mesothelioma

Anna Scattone, Gabriella Serio, Andrea Marzullo, Pietro Nazzaro, Fabrizio Corsi, Maria Pia Cocca, Marilena Mattoni, Alessandra Punzi, Mattia Gentile, Antonia Lucia Buonadonna, Antonio Pennella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To evaluate the use of the Wilms' tumour gene (WT1) marker and histomorphological parameters as indicators of prognosis in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM). Methods and results: Histological samples of 31 MPM were stained immunohistochemically for the WT1 protein. The results were quantified by recording the number of stained nuclei, and then correlated with patient survival. Statistical correlation was evaluated for tumour histotype, mitotic count (MC), nuclear grade (NG), necrosis, lymphoid response (grade of inflammation) and desmoplasia with regard to survival. High-grade histology (solid epithelioid, pure sarcomatoid or biphasic tumours), high NG, MC more than five per 10 per high-power field (HPF), necrosis and desmoplasia were associated with a significantly worse prognosis. Patients with MPM with low WT1 expression (≤25% of positive cells) survived for a significantly shorter time compared to those with high WT1 expression (>25% of positive cells) (P=0.0001). The 50% survival time of subjects with low WT1 expression was 2.9months [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.05-3.71] versus 31.5months (95% CI: 20.4-42.5) for those with high WT1 expression. On multivariate analysis, WT1 and MC were found to be associated independently with survival (P=0.002; P=0.005, respectively). Conclusions: Our study suggests that low WT1 expression and high MC may be indicative of an unfavourable prognosis in patients with advanced malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-481
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Mesothelioma
  • Peritoneum
  • Prognosis
  • Wilms' tumour gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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