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Anticancer Res. 2002 Nov-Dec;22(6A):3415-9.

The prognostic significance of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer.

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1
Department of Gynecology, Charité Campus Virchow-Clinic, Berlin, Germany. ilka.fuchs@charite.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study investigates the influence of epithelial-mesenchymal transition on prognosis in breast cancer.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Eighty breast carcinomas as well as 6 breast cancer cell lines were analysed immunohistochemically for the expression of epithelial keratins (K) K8, K19 and mesenchymal vimentin. Protein expression was correlated with histopathological factors and clinical follow-up.

RESULTS:

Suppression of K8 and K19 occurred in the majority of the tumours (72.5% and 65%), while aberrant expression of vimentin was found in 21.2% of the tumours. Suppression of K8 as well as expression of vimentin was significantly correlated with short survival (p < 0.004 and p < 0.006). Moreover HER2 overexpression significantly correlated with K19 (p < 0.0004) and vimentin (p < 0.0005). In cell lines with increasing invasive potential, epithelial keratins were lost in favour of mesenchymal vimentin.

CONCLUSION:

The transition from epithelial keratin to mesenchymal vimentin expression marks an important step in the malignant progression of breast cancer.

PMID:
12530097
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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