Author(s): Younis LK, El Sakka H, Haque I
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Breast cancer continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The behavior of breast cancer varies widely. Several parameters have been investigated to predict the prognosis in breast cancer. But still there is no single parameter that can predict prognosis in an individual patient. Among the novel prognostic markers is E-cadherin; a calcium-dependent epithelial cell adhesion molecule. Its loss has been associated with metastases, thereby providing evidence for its role as an invasion suppressor. The objective of the present study was to assess the prognostic value of E-cadherin expression in breast cancer cases, and its correlations with the other studied prognostic parameters. METHODS: The study comprised 54 breast cancer patients admitted at King Fahd Specialist Hospital, Qassim during the period 2001-2006. The median tumor size was 3cms. Fifty cases (92.6\%) had invasive ductal carcinoma, four cases had lobular carcinomas, and most were grade II (82\%), stage II (48\%), and the majority of cases had positive axillary lymph nodes (70.3\%). Representative sections from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue blocks were taken from the 54 cases of breast cancer, and were stained for E-cadherin expression by immunohistochemical technique (monoclonal E-cadherin (NCL-E-cad), Novocastra). All the lobular carcinoma cases were negative for membranous expression of E-cadherin while 72\% of invasive ductal carcinomas were positive for the marker. RESULTS: A significant correlation was found between strong E-cadherin expression and node negative cases. Node negative cases were found to be an independent predictor of strong E-cadherin expression while node positive cases predicted negative expression of E-cadherin (P = 0 .026). Also loss of E-cadherin was noted in advanced stages of breast cancer supporting the view that loss of E-cadherin expression is a marker of aggressiveness. However, there was no correlation between the E-cadherin and other prognostic parameters as tumor size, tumor grade, ER, PR, and HER-2 expression. CONCLUSION: A significant correlation was found between strong E-cadherin expression and node negative cases.
This article was published in Int J Health Sci (Qassim)
and referenced in Surgery: Current Research