Nuclear Expression of Snail Is an Independent Negative Prognostic Factor in Human Breast Cancer

Muenst, S.; Däster, S.; Obermann, E. C.; Droeser, R. A.; Weber, W. P.; von Holzen, U.; Gao, F.; Viehl, C.; Oertli, D.; Soysal, S. D.
November 2013
Disease Markers;2013, Vol. 35 Issue 5, p337
Academic Journal
Background. Snail is a key regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition of tumor cells. Several studies have shown nuclear Snail expression to be a negative prognostic factor in human cancer, where it is generally associated withmore aggressive tumor behavior and worse survival. Objectives and Methods. To further explore the role of Snail expression in breast cancer, we conducted a study on a tissue microarray, encompassing 1043 breast cancer cases. Results. A total of 265 (25.4%) breast cancers were positive for Snail. Snail expression was significantly associated with greater tumor size, higher tumor stage and grade, positive lymph node status, and hormone receptor negative status and was differently expressed in the intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer, being the highest in the basal-like subtype and the lowest in the luminal A subtype. In multivariate analysis, Snail proved to be an independent negative prognostic factor for OS. In the intrinsic subtypes, Snail expression was a negative prognostic factor for OS in the luminal BHER2-, the luminal B HER2+, and the basal-like subtype. Conclusions. This is the first study demonstrating that nuclear Snail expression is an independent negative predictor of prognosis in breast cancer, thus suggesting that itmay represent a potential therapeutic target.


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