Aim Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterised by shorter overall survival and an early peak of distant recurrences with still no specific targeted treatment available. Vitamin D receptor (VDR) and insulin-like growth factor receptor 1 (IGFR) have recently been described as potential new targets for anticancer therapy, yet their roles in TNBCs are still to be explored. In this study we investigated VDR and IGFR expression in patients with TNBC and compared them with clinical and pathological parameters and survival to possibly demonstrate their prognostic and therapeutic relevance.
Methods The study included 96 patients with TNBC. Clinical and pathological parameters were compared with the immunohistochemical expression of VDR and IGFR.
Results Positive VDR immunostaining was present in 27% of tumours and inversely correlated with higher mitotic score, histological grade and higher proliferation index measured by Ki-67 and related to the increased overall survival (OS). Out of 96 patients with TNBC, 35.5% of tumours were IGFR positive and correlated with higher mitotic score and Ki-67, and strongly correlated with shorter disease-free survival (DFS). Patients with VDR-negative and IGF-positive tumours had significantly lower DFS and OS.
Conclusion Approximately one third of TNBCs express VDR and/or IGFR. Their expression is linked with the recurrence of the disease and survival, which make them possible targets for treatment and a prognostic tool for dividing TNBCs into more homogeneous subgroups.
- triple negative breast cancer
- vitamin D receptor
- insulin growth factor receptor 1
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Handling editor Cheok Soon Lee.
Contributors MS, IM: data acquisition, data analysis and interpretation. ST: data analysis and interpretation, critical revision of the manuscript for scientific and factual content. TO: data acquisition, data analysis and interpretation. NS: data acquisition. MB: statistical and scientific supervision. EV: critical revision of themanuscript for scientific and factual content.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval University School of Medicine, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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