Aim Breast carcinoma proliferative activity, histological grade and commercial molecular tests are all important in prognostication and treatment. There is a particular need for improved, standardised techniques for subclassification of grade 2 breast cancers into low-risk and high-risk prognostic groups. In this study we investigated whether gene expression profiling of five proliferation genes was feasible using breast cancer tissue in a clinical setting and whether these profiles could enhance pathological assessment.
Methods Expression of five proliferation gene mRNAs; Ki-67, STK 15, CCNB1, CCND1 and MYBL2, was quantified in 27 breast carcinomas and compared with Ki-67 proliferation index (PI) and Nottingham mitotic score.
Results Expression of Ki-67, STK15 and MYBL2 mRNA showed moderate Spearman's correlation with Ki-67 PI (p<0.01), but CCND1 and CCNB1 showed weak, non-significant correlation. Individual gene expression did not associate with mitotic score but combined mRNA expression correlated with both Ki-67 PI (p=0.018) and mitotic score (p=0.03; 0.007).
Conclusions This study confirms mRNA analysis in breast carcinoma formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples is feasible and suggests gene expression profiling, using a small set of five proliferation genes, has potential in aiding histological grading or assessment of proliferative activity of breast cancers. To fully evaluate the clinical applicability of this approach, a larger cohort study with long-term follow-up data is required.
- KI 67
- BREAST CANCER
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Handling editor Runjan Chetty
Contributors CT, laboratory work, data analysis and interpretation, drafting and finalisation of manuscript; GS, JH, BD and CR, conception, interpretation of data and amendments and finalisation of manuscript; BW: conception and finalisation of manuscript; BA, amendments and finalisation of manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Department of Health of WA.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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