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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 163

of 'Prognostic and predictive factors in early, nonmetastatic breast cancer'

The loss of E-cadherin, alpha- and beta-catenin expression is associated with metastasis and poor prognosis in invasive breast cancer.
Yoshida R, Kimura N, Harada Y, Ohuchi N
Int J Oncol. 2001;18(3):513.
Loss of E-cadherin and catenin expression may be associated with distant and lymph node metastases in breast cancer. Heterogeneity of E-cadherin expression is associated with poor prognosis, suggesting that E-cadherin and catenins may serve as useful prognostic markers for invasive breast carcinoma. Reduction or loss of expression of either E-cadherin or catenins is associated with invasion, metastasis and poor prognosis in several types of human malignancies. We investigated the expression of E-cadherin, and alpha- and beta-catenins by immunohistochemistry in 171 cases of primary invasive breast cancer, and compared the expression with clinicopathological parameters to define the relationship between expression and prognosis. E-cadherin immunoreactive protein was shown to be expressed in 97 cases. Reduction or lack of expression of E-cadherin was associated with distant metastasis. Based on immunohistochemical heterogeneity, E-cadherin-positive tumors were classified into heterogeneous, homogeneous and intermediate types. Interestingly, although patients with heterogeneous type demonstrated the lowest incidence of distant metastasis at diagnosis, they showed a higher incidence of subsequent distant metastasis, after surgery, and a lower survival rate than those with homogeneous type (p<0.05). E-cadherin expression was reduced or negative in metastatic axillary lymph nodes regardless of the expression in the primary tumor, suggesting that changes in E-cadherin expression are associated with not only distant metastasis but also lymph node metastasis. Tumors negative for either alpha- or beta-catenin expression demonstrated a higher incidence of distant metastasis than those expressing both catenins, suggesting that the expression of catenins is involved in breast cancer metastasis. Reduction or loss of E-cadherin and catenin expression may be associated with distant and lymph node metastases in invasive breast cancer, and the heterogeneous type may be associated with poor prognosis.
Department of Surgical Oncology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.