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Br J Cancer. 2012 Feb 28;106(5):923-30. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.11. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Clinical significance of CD151 overexpression in subtypes of invasive breast cancer.

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  • 1Advanced Institutes of Convergence Technology, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.



CD151 is a member of the tetraspanin family, which interacts with laminin-binding integrins and other tetraspanins. This protein is implicated in motility, invasion, and metastasis of cancer cells, but the prevalence of CD151 expression in subtypes of breast cancers and its influence on clinical outcome remains to be evaluated.


The immunohistochemistry-based tissue microarray analysis showed that 127 (14.3%) cases overexpressed CD151 among 886 breast cancer patients. CD151 overexpression was found to be significantly associated with larger tumour size, higher nodal stage, advanced stage, absence of oestrogen receptor and progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 overexpression. CD151 overexpression resulted in poorer overall survival (OS) (P<0.001) and disease-free survival (P=0.02), and stage II and III patients with CD151 overexpression demonstrated substantially poorer OS (P=0.0474 and 0.0169). In the five subtypes analyses, CD151 overexpression retained its adverse impact on OS in the Luminal A (P=0.0105) and quintuple-negative breast cancer (QNBC) subtypes, one subgroup of triple-negative breast cancer (P=0.0170). Multivariate analysis that included stage, subtype, and adjuvant chemotherapy showed that CD151 overexpression was independently associated with poor OS in invasive breast cancer.


CD151 overexpression may be a potential molecular therapeutic target for breast cancer, especially in QNBC subtype and more advanced stages of breast cancer.

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