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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 19;8(4):e61591. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061591. Print 2013.

Decreased FOXF2 mRNA expression indicates early-onset metastasis and poor prognosis for breast cancer patients with histological grade II tumor.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China.


The transcription factor, FOXF2, plays an important role in tissue development, extracellular matrix synthesis, and epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, implying that it may be associated with the metastatic capabilities of cancer cells. However, the relationship between FOXF2 expression and breast cancer progression, metastasis, and prognosis, remains to be elucidated. In this study, FOXF2 mRNA levels in 305 primary breast cancer tissues were examined using RT-QPCR. Results showed that FOXF2 mRNA levels in primary breast cancer were negatively associated with tumor progression, including tumor size, number of metastatic lymph nodes, and clinical stage. Patients with low FOXF2 mRNA levels had a high risk of relapse and metastasis within three years. Low FOXF2 mRNA levels could predict shorter disease-free survival for those patients with histological grade II and triple-negative breast cancer. Taken together, we conclude that decreased FOXF2 expression indicates the early-onset metastasis and poor prognosis for patients with histological grade II and triple-negative breast cancer.

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