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CD147 expression is associated with poor overall survival in chemotherapy treated triple-negative breast cancer
  1. Ming Liu1,
  2. Julia Y S Tsang2,
  3. Michelle Lee2,
  4. Yun-Bi Ni2,
  5. Siu-Ki Chan3,
  6. Sai-Yin Cheung4,
  7. Jintao Hu5,
  8. Hong Hu6,
  9. Gary M K Tse2
  1. 1 Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital, Xin-Jiang Medical University, Ürümqi, China
  2. 2 Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  3. 3 Department of Pathology, Kwong Wah Hospital, Hong Kong, China
  4. 4 Department of Pathology, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong, China
  5. 5 Department of Pathology, Shenzhen People's Hospital, Shenzhen, China
  6. 6 Department of Breast Surgery, Shenzhen People’s Hospital, Shenzhen, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gary M K Tse, Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong, China; garytse{at}


Aims In breast cancer models, the functional roles of CD147 in proliferation, invasion and treatment resistance have been widely reported. However, there are only a few studies examining the clinicopathological correlation and prognostic relevance of CD147 in breast cancer, especially in relation to breast cancer molecular subtypes.

Methods In this study, we analysed CD147 expression in a large cohort of breast cancers, correlating with clinicopathological features and the expression of a comprehensive panel of biomarkers in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and non-TNBC subsets. Its relationship with patients’ survival was also analysed.

Results CD147 was expressed in 11.9%(140/1174) of all cases and in 23.8% (40/168) of TNBC. The expression was associated with tumour histological subtypes (p=0.01) and most commonly seen in carcinoma with medullary features (26.0%). CD147 expression correlated with high tumour grade, presence of necrosis and basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) subtype, high Ki67 and expression of some other basal markers and stem-like markers. CD147 expression was also associated with poor overall survival in chemotherapy treated patients with TNBC.

Conclusions CD147 is a putative marker in identifying TNBC or BLBC, and may be useful as a prognosis indicator for patients with TNBC or BLBC post chemotherapy.

  • breast cancer
  • immunohistochemistry
  • histopathology

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  • Handling editor Cheok Soon Lee.

  • Contributors ML collected the cases, reviewed the slides and wrote the manuscript; JYST analysed data and wrote the manuscript; ML, JH and HH collected and arranged clinicopathological data of the cases; Y-BN, S-KC and S-YC reviewed the slides; GMKT conceived the idea of the study, reviewed the cases, provided guidance and critically revised the paper. All authors read and approved the final submitted version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Joint Chinese University of Hong Kong–New Territories East Cluster clinical research ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.