Biomarker (ProEx™ C, p16INK4A, and MiB-1) distinction of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion from its mimics

Alvaro P. Pinto, Nicolas F. Schlecht, Terri Y C Woo, Christopher P. Crum, Edmund S. Cibas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Topoisomerase IIα and minichromosome maintenance protein 2 are proteins associated with aberrant S-phase induction. The current study evaluated the performance of these biomarkers (ProEx™ C; TriPath Oncology, Burlington, NC) compared with p16INK4A and MiB-1 in distinguishing high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs) from HSIL mimics. We collected archival cervical biopsy, cone, and curettage specimens from 96 cases in which the differential diagnosis of HSIL vs reactive epithelial changes was considered. Hematoxylin- and eosin-stained slides were reviewed independently by three pathologists and scored for the presence or absence of SIL. Immunostains for ProEx C, p16, and MiB-1 were available for 95, 96, and 59 samples, respectively, and classified blinded to histological interpretation. Strong nuclear and cytoplasmic staining for p16 and staining for MiB-1 and ProEx C that extended beyond the lower one-third of the epithelium were scored as positive. χ2-tests and receiver operating characteristic analysis were conducted to statistically compare biomarker immunostaining performance against majority histological interpretation of SIL. Agreement between pathologists was also assessed by the κ-statistic. Inter-observer agreement ranged from fair to moderate (κ=0.37-0.57). All three biomarkers correlated strongly with the majority diagnosis of SIL (P<0.001). Positive staining for ProEx C, p16, and MiB-1 was observed in 87% (N=52/60), 84% (N=51/61), and 94% (34/36), respectively, of SIL and negative in 71% (N=25/35), 63% (N=22/35), and 52% (N=12/23), respectively, of majority diagnoses of NoSIL. The combination of p16/ProEx C predicted more SIL (92%, N=33/36) and NoSIL (61%, N=14/23) than p16 plus MiB-1 (94%, N=34/36 and 43%, N=10/23), although this difference was not statistically significant. ProEx C appears to provide an equivalent level of sensitivity and a higher level of specificity for HSIL alone or in conjunction with p16. Its principal value may be in providing a lower false positive rate for NoSIL relative to MiB-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1074
Number of pages8
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • 16
  • Cervical biopsy
  • Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
  • MiB-1
  • ProEx™ C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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