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Do signal transduction cascades influence survival in triple-negative breast cancer? A preliminary study

Authors Mumm J, Kölbl A, Jeschke U, Andergassen U

Received 1 December 2015

Accepted for publication 4 February 2016

Published 26 May 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 3163—3169


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Cho

Jan-Niclas Mumm, Alexandra C Kölbl, Udo Jeschke, Ulrich Andergassen

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a rather aggressive form of breast cancer, comprised by early metastasis formation and reduced overall survival of the affected patients. Steroid hormone receptors and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 are not overexpressed, limiting therapeutic options. Therefore, new treatment options have to be investigated. The aim of our preliminary study was to detect coherences between some molecules of intracellular signal transduction pathways and survival of patients with TNBC, in order to obtain some hints for new therapeutical solutions.
Methods: Thirty-one paraffin-embedded tumor tissue samples, which were determined to be negative for steroid hormone receptors as well as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, were immunohistochemically stained for a number of signal transduction molecules from several signaling pathways. β-Catenin, HIF1a, MCL, Notch1, LRP6, XBP1, and FOXP3 were stained with specific antibodies, and their staining was correlated with patient survival by Kaplan–Meier analyses.
Results: Only two of the investigated molecules have shown correlation with overall survival. Cytoplasmic staining of HIF1a and centro-tumoral lymphocyte FOXP3 staining showed statistically significant correlations with survival.
Conclusion: The coherence of signal transduction molecules with survival of patients with TNBC is still controversially discussed in the literature. Our study comprises one more mosaic stone in the elucidation of these intracellular processes and their influences on patient outcome. Lots of research still has to be done in this field, but it would be worthwhile as it may offer new therapeutic targets for a group of patients with breast cancer, which is still hard to treat.

Keywords: signal transduction cascades, immunohistochemistry, Kaplan–Meier analysis

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