Aims: To analyse the distribution of nestin expression in different breast tumours and to determine the prognostic impact of nestin expression.
Methods: Nestin expression was immunohistochemically analysed in a cohort of 245 invasive breast cancer patients treated with therapeutic surgery followed by anthracycline-based chemotherapy using a semi-quantitative scoring system.
Results: Nestin was exclusively expressed in grade III breast carcinoma and preferentially expressed in basal-like and triple negative cancers. Nestin-positive tumours displayed high proliferation rates and p53 nuclear expression. Lymph-node positive patients with nestin-positive cancers had a shorter breast cancer specific survival; however nestin was not an independent prognostic factor on multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: Nestin expression is preferentially found in basal-like and triple negative breast carcinomas. Further studies are warranted to define the biological role played by nestin in these subgroups of breast cancers.
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Funding: This work was funded by Breakthrough Breast Cancer. CM is part of the PhD programme “Tecniche avanzate di localizzazione dei tumori umani” (University of Turin) and is funded by AIRC (Milan, Regional Grant 1182) and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: This study was approved by the Royal Marsden Hospital Research Ethics Committee.