Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Res. 2006 May 15;66(10):5487-94.

Quantitative in situ analysis of beta-catenin expression in breast cancer shows decreased expression is associated with poor outcome.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


The role of beta-catenin in breast cancer and its prognostic value is controversial. The prognostic value had been assessed previously in a series of nonquantitative immunohistochemical studies with conflicting results. In efforts to clarify the relationship between beta-catenin protein expression and breast cancer prognosis, we have assessed a retrospective 600 case cohort of breast cancer tumors from the Yale Pathology archives on tissue microarrays. They were assessed using automated quantitative analysis (AQUA) with a series of array-embedded cell lines for which the beta-catenin concentration was standardized by an ELISA assay. The expression levels of the standard clinical markers HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and Ki-67 were also assessed on the same cohort. X-tile software was used to select optimal protein concentration cutpoints and to evaluate the outcome using a training set and a validation set. We found that low-level expression of membranous beta-catenin is associated with significantly worse outcome (38% versus 76%, 10-year survival, validation set log-rank P = 0.0016). Multivariate analysis of this marker, assessed in a proportional hazards model with tumor size, age, node status, nuclear grade, ER, PR, HER2, and Ki-67, is still highly significant with a hazard ratio of 6.8 (P < 0.0001, 95% confidence interval, 3.1-15.1). These results suggest that loss of beta-catenin expression at the membrane, as assessed by objective quantitative analysis methods, may be useful as a prognostic marker or may be part of a useful algorithm for prognosis in breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center