Carbonic anhydrase 9 is associated with chemosensitivity and prognosis in breast cancer patients treated with taxane and anthracycline

Naoki Aomatsu; Masakazu Yashiro; Shinichiro Kashiwagi; Hidemi Kawajiri; Tsutomu Takashima; Masahiko Ohsawa; Kenichi Wakasa; Kosei Hirakawa
June 2014
BMC Cancer;2014, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p131
Academic Journal
Background Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is one of the standard care regimens for patients with resectable early-stage breast cancer. It would be advantageous to determine the chemosensitivity of tumors before initiating NAC. One of the parameters potentially compromising such chemosensitivity would be a hypoxic microenvironment of cancer cells. The aim of this study was thus to clarify the correlation between expression of the hypoxic marker carbonic anhydrase-9 (CA9) and chemosensitivity to NAC as well as prognosis of breast cancer patients. Methods A total of 102 patients with resectable early-stage breast cancer were treated with NAC consisting of FEC (5-fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide) followed by weekly paclitaxel before surgery. Core needle biopsy (CNB) specimens and resected tumors were obtained from all patients before and after NAC, respectively. Chemosensitivity to NAC and the prognostic potential of CA9 expression were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Results CA9 positivity was detected in the CNB specimens from 47 (46%) of 102 patients. The CA9 expression in CNB specimens was significantly correlated with pathological response, lymph node metastasis, and lymph-vascular invasion. Multivariate analysis revealed that the CA9 expression in CNB specimens was an independent predictive factor for pathological response. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve revealed a significant negative correlation (p = 0.013) between the disease-free survival (DFS) and the CA 9 expression in resected tissues after NAC. Multivariate regression analyses indicated that the CA9 expression in resected tissues was an independent prognostic factor for DFS. Conclusions CA9 expression in CNB specimens is a useful marker for predicting chemosensitivity, and CA9 expression in resected tissue is prognostic of DFS in patients with resectable early-stage breast cancer treated by sequential FEC and weekly paclitaxel prior to resection.


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