GerbB-2 expression is a better predictor for survival than galectin-3 or p53 in early-stage breast cancer

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Logullo, Angela Flavia [UNIFESP]
Lopes, Andréa Braga de Godoy
Nonogaki, Suely
Soares, Fernando Augusto
Mourão Netto, Mario
Nishimoto, Inês Nobuko
Brentani, Maria Mitzi [UNIFESP]
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The definition of high risk patients with early stage breast cancer is still controversial. We evaluated the ability of galectin-3, c-erbB-2 and p53 immunohistochemical expression to predict recurrence and survival in a homogeneous set of 92 patients with T1N0M0 ductal carcinoma with a long-term follow-up. In normal breast tissue, the epithelial and fibroblast components were positive for galectin-3 mostly showing nuclear and cytoplasmic reactivity. At the tumor epithelial component, galectin-3 expression was found in 46.7% of the samples with a predominant cytoplasmic staining. Similar results were presented by concurrent in situ lesions. Tumor stromal fibroblasts maintained positivity in 70 out of 92 cases (76%). We found expression of p53 in only 16 cases (17.4%), and c-erbB-2 in 17 (18.48%). A marginal association was found between co-expression of p53 and galectin-3 (p=0.055) and a significant correlation between p53 accumulation and c-erbB-2 expression (p=0.009). There was no significant association between (galectin-3 protein expression with disease-free survival or overall survival. C-erbB2 and p53 expression correlated with recurrence (p=0.002, p=0.02; respectively). Diminished overall survival at 10 years was associated with c-erbB-2 (p=0.010), but marginally with p53 expression (p=0.076). Epithelial galectin-3 expression cannot be considered a prognostic factor for patients with T1N0M0 breast cancer, p53 seems to be of minor relevance and c-erbB-2 expression was the best discriminator and may be a marker for aggressive clinical behavior in patients with early stage breast cancer.
Oncology Reports. Athens: Professor D A Spandidos, v. 18, n. 1, p. 121-126, 2007.