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Åke Borg

Åke Borg

Principal investigator

Åke Borg

Basal-like phenotype is not associated with patient survival in estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancers

Author

  • Mervi Jumppanen
  • Sofia Gruvberger
  • Paivikki Kauraniemi
  • Minna Tanner
  • Pär-Ola Bendahl
  • Mikael Lundin
  • Morten Krogh
  • Pasi Kataja
  • Åke Borg
  • Mårten Fernö
  • Jorma Isola

Summary, in English

Introduction Basal-phenotype or basal-like breast cancers are characterized by basal epithelium cytokeratin (CK5/14/17) expression, negative estrogen receptor ( ER) status and distinct gene expression signature. We studied the clinical and biological features of the basal-phenotype tumors determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and cDNA microarrays especially within the ER-negative subgroup. Methods IHC was used to evaluate the CK5/14 status of 445 stage II breast cancers. The gene expression signature of the CK5/14 immunopositive tumors was investigated within a subset ( 100) of the breast tumors ( including 50 ER-negative tumors) with a cDNA microarray. Survival for basal-phenotype tumors as determined by CK5/14 IHC and gene expression signature was assessed. Results From the 375 analyzable tumor specimens, 48 (13%) were immunohistochemically positive for CK5/14. We found adverse distant disease-free survival for the CK5/14-positive tumors during the first years ( 3 years hazard ratio (HR) 2.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17 to 4.24, p = 0.01; 5 years HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.02 to 3.15, p = 0.04) but the significance was lost at the end of the follow-up period ( 10 years HR 1.43, 95% CI 0.84 to 2.43, p = 0.19). Gene expression profiles of immunohistochemically determined CK5/14-positive tumors within the ER-negative tumor group implicated 1,713 differently expressed genes ( p < 0.05). Hierarchical clustering analysis with the top 500 of these genes formed one basal-like and a non-basal-like cluster also within the ER-negative tumor entity. A highly concordant classification could be constructed with a published gene set (Sorlie's intrinsic gene set, concordance 90%). Both gene sets identified a basal-like cluster that included most of the CK5/14-positive tumors, but also immunohistochemically CK5/14-negative tumors. Within the ER-negative tumor entity there was no survival difference between the non-basal and basal-like tumors as identified by immunohistochemical or gene-expression-based classification. Conclusion Basal cytokeratin-positive tumors have a biologically distinct gene expression signature from other ER-negative tumors. Even if basal cytokeratin expression predicts early relapse among non-selected tumors, the clinical outcome of basal tumors is similar to non-basal ER-negative tumors. Immunohistochemically basal cytokeratin-positive tumors almost always belong to the basal-like gene expression profile, but this cluster also includes few basal cytokeratin-negative tumors.

Department/s

  • Breastcancer-genetics
  • Computational Biology and Biological Physics - Undergoing reorganization

Publishing year

2007

Language

English

Publication/Series

Breast Cancer Research

Volume

9

Issue

1

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

BioMed Central (BMC)

Topic

  • Cancer and Oncology

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1465-5411