Research Roundup: prognostic biomarkers in cancer

Many of our cancer antibodies are used in cutting-edge research to identify new prognostic markers in different cancers. Let's take a look at three recent studies.

Antibody-based biomarker discovery can lead to more accurate diagnosis and a better assessment of patient prognosis, ultimately improving outcomes for cancer patients around the world. Today we talk about prognostic biomarkers in early-stage ovarian cancer, a new panel of biomarkers able to distinguish between different forms of lung cancer, and a nuclear transcription factor as biomarkers in prostate cancers. The following three studies have all successfully utilized different Atlas Antibodies products in their research. 

Read on to see our antibodies in action!

1. Validation of novel prognostic biomarkers for early-stage clear-cell endometrioid and mucinous ovarian carcinomas using immunohistochemistry (Engqvist et al. 2020)

Some early-stage ovarian cancer patients die unexpectedly and much earlier than expected. It’s therefore important to stratify these patients into risk groups to identify those in need of more aggressive treatment regimens.

This new study is important in validating 17 novel histotype-specific biomarkers for three of the major histotypes of early-stage ovarian cancer: clear cell ovary carcinoma, endometrioid and mucinous ovary carcinomas. These markers have not been connected with the prognosis of these histotypes before.

In this study, 11 polyclonal antibodies from Atlas Antibodies were used. Among those, here is a selection.


  • Engqvist et al. 2020

Figure 1. Protein expression of clear-cell (CCC)-associated biomarkers (A), endometrioid (EC)-associated biomarkers (B), and mucinous ovarian carcinoma (MC)-associated biomarkers (C). Representative immunohistochemical staining intensities showing protein expression (negative vs. positive) in ovarian tumor cells for histotype-associated biomarkers (400 × magnification). Image from Engqvist et al. 2020.



2. The value of desmosomal plaque-related markers to distinguish squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the lung (Galindo et al. 2020)

Lung carcinomas can be difficult to manage and are often challenging to diagnose histologically. An antibody panel is needed to definitively differentiate between adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in order to meet more stringent requirements for the histologic classification of lung cancers. Staining of desmosomal plaque-related proteins may be useful in the diagnosis of lung SCC.

This new study provides an addition to the arsenal of IHC panel biomarkers able to distinguish between aggressive or the difficult to diagnose forms of lung cancer by demonstrating PKP1 as a marker of prognostic value.

Two of the primary antibodies used in this study are:

Anti-PKP1 Antibody (HPA027221) - Atlas Antibodies
Anti-KRT15 Antibody (HPA023910) - Atlas Antibodies


galindo et al. 1


Figure 2. Immunohistochemical staining of PKP1 in SCC. (A) Predominant staining in cell membrane a (40X). (B) Positivity in membrane and cytoplasm. Note weak staining in the less differentiated area (bottom left) (20X). (C) Nuclear staining (40X). Image from Galindo et al. 2020.


galindo et al. 2

Figure 3. Immunohistochemistry for KRT15 in SCC. (A) Extensive positivity in well-differentiated SCC in cell membranes (20X). (B) Poorly differentiated area with focal membranous staining (20X). (C) Area with predominant cytoplasmic staining (60X). (D) Poorly differentiated SCC showing some nuclei with faint staining(arrows). Note negativity in stromal cells (arrowheads) (20X). Image from Galindo et al. 2020.


3. Upregulation of the transcription factor TFAP2D is associated with aggressive tumor phenotype in prostate cancer lacking the TMPRSS2: ERG fusion (Fraune et al. 2020)

Nuclear transcription factor TFDA2 is upregulated in genomically unstable prostate tumors and is associated with poor patient prognosis.

The study authors found that that TFAP2D expression was typically increased in prostate cancer as compared to adjacent non-neoplastic glands and identified TFDA2 as a novel IHC-marker, which together with other markers, could be utilized to obtain a more accurate diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancers.

The study used the Anti-TFAP2D Antibody (HPA048962)

Fraune et al. 2020
Figure 4. Examples of TFAP2D immunostainings in a: normal prostate glands and cancer spots with b: lack of staining and c: nuclear staining. Image from Fraune et al. 2020.

Did you find this post interesting?

Take a look at other studies that have successfully utilized our antibodies.

Research roundup: diagnostic and prognostic cancer markers

Research roundup: stem cell research

Research roundup: neuroscience

Have you published with our antibodies? Let us know!



1. Engqvist H, Parris TZ, Kovács A, et al. Validation of Novel Prognostic Biomarkers for Early-Stage Clear-Cell, Endometrioid and Mucinous Ovarian Carcinomas Using Immunohistochemistry. Frontiers in Oncology. 2020;10:162. 

2. Galindo I, Gómez-Morales M, Díaz-Cano I, Andrades Á, Caba-Molina M, Miranda-León MT, Medina PP, Martín-Padron J, Fárez-Vidal ME. The value of desmosomal plaque-related markers to distinguish squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the lung. Ups J Med Sci. 2020 Feb;125(1):19-29. 

3. Fraune, C., Harms, L., Büscheck, F. et al. Upregulation of the transcription factor TFAP2D is associated with aggressive tumor phenotype in prostate cancer lacking the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion. Mol Med 2624 (2020).