Prognostic value of survivin and EGFR protein expression in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients

Minghui Zhang, Xiaosan Zhang, Shu Zhao, Yan Wang, Wenyu Di, Gangling Zhao, Maopeng Yang, Qingyuan Zhang
Targeted Oncology 2014, 9 (4): 349-57
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a particular type of breast cancer which is characterized by its biological aggressiveness, worse prognosis, and lack of prognostic markers or therapeutic targets in contrast with hormonal receptor-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancers. We aimed to evaluate survivin and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and their prognostic value and determine their relationships with the clinicopathological parameters of TNBC. A total of 136 patients who had undergone a resection of primary TNBC were enrolled at the Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University from March 2003 to September 2005. Expression of ER, PR, HER2, EGFR, and survivin was assessed by immunohistochemistry. The association of TNBC and other clinicopathological variables and the prognostic value of survivin and EGFR expression were evaluated. Survivin was expressed in 62 (45.6 %) cases and EGFR was expressed in 82 (60.3 %) cases. Survivin expression was associated with menopausal status (P = 0.011), tumor size (P = 0.037), and lymph node status (P = 0.001). EGFR expression was associated with menopausal status (P = 0.029), lymph node status (P = 0.004), P53 expression (P = 0.001), Ki-67 expression (P = 0.028), and lymphatic vascular invasion (P = 0.037). A multivariate analysis demonstrated that tumor size (hazard ratio (HR) 1.587, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.081–2.330, P = 0.018 for disease-free survival (DFS); HR 1.606, 95%CI 1.096–2.354, P = 0.015 for overall survival (OS)), lymph node status (HR 2.873, 95%CI 1.544–5.344, P = 0.001 for DFS; HR 2.915, 95%CI 1.553–5.471, P = 0.001 for OS), tumor grade (HR 1.914, 95%CI 1.218–3.007, P = 0.005 for DFS; HR 1.983, 95%CI 1.228–3.203, P = 0.005 for OS), EGFR (HR 3.008, 95%CI 1.331–6.792, P = 0.008 for DFS; HR 3.151, 95%CI 1.374–7.226, P = 0.007 for OS), and survivin (HR 1.573, 95%CI 1.087–2.277, P = 0.016 for DFS; HR 1.607, 95%CI 1.088–2.374, P = 0.017 for OS) were of prognostic significance for disease-free and overall survival. We draw a conclusion from the present study that survivin and EGFR expression are useful prognostic markers of TNBC and might be useful for molecular targeting therapy of TNBC treatment.

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