J Breast Cancer.  2015 Sep;18(3):242-248. 10.4048/jbc.2015.18.3.242.

The Presence of EpCAM-/CD49f+ Cells in Breast Cancer Is Associated with a Poor Clinical Outcome

Affiliations
  • 1Laboratory of Pathology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China. molecularpathology@hotmail.com
  • 2Department of Pathology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Abstract

PURPOSE
It is well established that breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) play an essential role in tumor invasion for both local and distant metastasis. The aim of this study was to establish whether BCSCs could act as a prognostic and clinical marker.
METHODS
We analyzed tumor tissues from 161 breast cancer patients. Dual immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence were performed on all the slides, and we analyzed the relationship between EpCAM-/CD49f+ tumor cells and key clinical and prognostic factors.
RESULTS
Univariate survival analysis using the Kaplan-Meier method showed that the presence of EpCAM-/CD49f+ tumor cells in breast cancer was significantly associated with shorter disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Multivariate analysis showed that the presence of EpCAM-/CD49f+ cells was associated with shorter DFS (p=0.010; hazard ratio [HR], 2.070) and OS (p=0.002; HR, 3.235). Tumors containing EpCAM-/CD49f+ cells were also more likely to metastasize after initial surgery (p=0.048).
CONCLUSION
Our study suggests that breast tumors containing EpCAM-/CD49f+ cells are more likely to undergo distant metastasis after initial surgery and are associated with a shorter DFS and OS.

Keyword

Breast neoplasms; Neoplasm metastasis; Neoplastic stem cells; Prognosis

MeSH Terms

Biomarkers
Breast Neoplasms*
Breast*
Disease-Free Survival
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Humans
Immunohistochemistry
Multivariate Analysis
Neoplasm Metastasis
Neoplastic Stem Cells
Prognosis
Stem Cells
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