Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Oncol. 2014 Oct;8(7):1196-207. doi: 10.1016/j.molonc.2014.04.003. Epub 2014 Apr 15.

OPG and PgR show similar cohort specific effects as prognostic factors in ER positive breast cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Germany.
  • 3Department of Medical Oncology, Ospedale San Raffaele, 20132 Milan, Italy.
  • 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
  • 5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Lübeck, Germany.
  • 6Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Medical School of Saarland, Homburg, Saar, Germany.
  • 7Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany. Electronic address:


The RANK/RANKL/OPG pathway is well known for bone destruction in skeletal metastases but has also been implicated in osteoclast-independent roles in tumorigenesis and de novo metastasis. Experimental data suggest contribution of progesterone to tumorigenesis may be mediated by RANKL. Importantly, modulation of this pathway became possible through the availability of denosumab, an artificial counterpart of OPG, but significant gaps remain in the translation of preclinical findings on the pathway. We analyzed gene expression of RANK, RANKL and OPG from 40 Affymetrix datasets encompassing 4467 primary breast cancers and focused on ER positive disease. We did not observe a significant prognostic value of RANK and RANKL mRNA expression. In contrast, OPG was associated with a better prognosis among 1941 ER positive cancers (HR 0.64, 95% CI 0.53-0.77; P < 0.0001) using a cutoff from its highly bimodal expression. We detected considerable heterogeneity regarding the prognostic value of OPG between different datasets. This heterogeneity could neither be attributed to technical reasons nor to differences in standard clinical parameters or treatments of the cohorts. Interestingly, the prognostic value of the progesterone receptor and of OPG showed similar cohort specific effects. Still both factors were no surrogates for each other but contributed independent prognostic value in multivariate analyses. Thus, both OPG and PgR are independently associated with good prognosis in ER positive breast cancer. However both markers share common cohort specific differences in contrast to proliferation markers as Ki67 which may be based on the underlying biology.

Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Breast cancer; Cohort bias; Dataset pooling; Gene expression profiling; Osteoprotegerin; Progesteron receptor; RANK; RANKL

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk