Clinicopathological significance of CD133 and CD44 expression in infiltrating ductal carcinoma and their relationship to angiogenesis

Zhengquan Han, Zhendong Chen, Rongsheng Zheng, Zenong Cheng, Xiaomeng Gong, Danna Wang
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2015 February 15, 13: 56

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in females worldwide, and the majority type is infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC). Most of IDC patients died of metastasis and recurrence. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are defined with the ability to be self-renewal and potentially promote proliferation and formation of tumors. CSCs are related to angiogenesis and are important targets in new cancer treatment strategies. In this study, we purposed to investigate on expression and clinical significances of CSCs marked by CD133 and CD44 in IDC and their relationship to angiogenesis.

METHODS: The specimens of IDC from 325 Chinese patients with follow-up were analyzed for CD133, CD44, CD82, and CD34 protein expression by immunohistochemical staining. The Pearson chi-square test and t test were used to assess the associations among the positive staining of these markers and clinicopathological characteristics. Postoperative overall survival time in these patients with IDC was analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS: In IDC tissues, positive rates of 48.6%, 53.8%, and 42.2% were obtained for CD133, CD44, and CD82 protein, respectively; the mean score of microvessel density (MVD) was 20.5 ± 7.0 in IDC group. And there was a significant difference between the two groups. There was a positive relationship between the expression of CD133, CD44, and the score of MVD and the grades of tumor, lymph node metastasis, tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stages (all P < 0.05); and the expression of CD82 was negatively related to grades of tumor, lymph node metastasis, and TNM stages (all P < 0.05). The overall mean survival time of the patients with CD133, CD44, and the score of MVD (≥21) positive expression was lower than that of patients with negative expression. The overall mean survival time of patients of CD82-positive expression was longer than that of patients of the negative expression group. The positive expression of CD133 and CD82, and TNM stages were independent prognostic factors of IDC (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: CSCs, angiogenesis, and aberrant expression of CD82 may be involved in the initiation, development, metastasis, and recurrence. It is suggested that CSCs, angiogenesis, and CD82 be possible as a therapeutic marker for anti-tumor therapy.

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