Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013 Aug 22;8(8):e70890. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070890. eCollection 2013.

The prognostic significance of Wnt-5a expression in primary breast cancer is extended to premenopausal women.

Author information

  • 1Experimental Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden ; Surgery, Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.


Wnt-5a protein expression in primary tumors from unselected breast cancer patients has revealed a tumor suppressive function of the protein. However, in vitro experiments on human breast cancer cells have reported contradictory results, indicating both a tumor suppressive and promoting functions of Wnt-5a. This could be due to various functions of Wnt-5a in different subgroups of patients. The unselected cohorts analyzed to date for Wnt-5a protein expression contained few premenopausal patients. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the prognostic significance of Wnt-5a protein expression in a cohort of premenopausal women with comprehensive data on biomarkers, molecular subtypes and long-term outcome. In a randomized trial of adjuvant tamoxifen versus no adjuvant treatment, 564 premenopausal primary breast cancer patients were included. The median follow-up time was 14 years. A tumor tissue array was constructed and 361 samples were evaluated for Wnt-5a reactivity by immunohistochemistry. The primary end-point was recurrence-free survival. Wnt-5a protein expression was reduced or lost in 146/361 of tumors and correlated to younger age, estrogen receptor (ER) negativity and triple-negative phenotype. Wnt-5a was a prognostic factor in the whole cohort (p = 0.003). In patients with ER-positive tumors, Wnt-5a was an independent positive prognostic marker (HR 0.51 95% CI: 0.33-0.78 p = 0.002) and HER2 a negative prognostic marker (HR 2.84 95% CI: 1.51-5.31, p = 0.001) in a Cox multivariate analysis adjusted for standard prognostic markers and tamoxifen treatment. In the ER-negative subset, Wnt-5a added no prognostic information. In a subgroup analysis, Wnt-5a was significantly associated with better prognosis in patients with Luminal A tumors (p = 0.04). Conclusively, our results suggest that loss of Wnt-5a is a valuable prognostic marker in premenopausal breast cancer patients in particular in patients with ER-positive tumors and out-performed conventional prognostic factors in this subset of patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk