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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prognostic effect of epithelial cell adhesion molecule overexpression in untreated node-negative breast cancer.

PURPOSE: Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (Ep-CAM) recently received increased attention not only as a prognostic factor in breast cancer but also as a potential target for immunotherapy. We examined Ep-CAM expression in 402 consecutive node-negative breast cancer patients with long-term follow-up not treated in the adjuvant setting. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Ep-CAM expression was evaluated by immunostaining. Its prognostic effect was estimated relative to overexpression/amplification of HER-2, histologic grade, tumor size, age, and hormone receptor expression. RESULTS: Ep-CAM status was positive in 106 (26.4%) patients. In multivariate analysis, Ep-CAM status was associated with disease-free survival independent of age, pT stage, histologic grade, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), as well as HER2 status (P = 0.028; hazard ratio, 1.60; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-2.44). Recently, so-called triple-negative (HER-2, ER, and PR) breast cancer has received increased attention. We noticed a similar association of Ep-CAM with disease-free survival in the triple-negative group as for the entire cohort. CONCLUSION: In this study of untreated breast cancer patients, Ep-CAM overexpression was associated with poor survival in the entire cohort and in the subgroup of triple-negative breast cancer. This suggests that Ep-CAM may be a well-suited target for specific therapies particularly in HER-2-, ER-, and PR-negative tumors.[1]


  1. Prognostic effect of epithelial cell adhesion molecule overexpression in untreated node-negative breast cancer. Schmidt, M., Hasenclever, D., Schaeffer, M., Boehm, D., Cotarelo, C., Steiner, E., Lebrecht, A., Siggelkow, W., Weikel, W., Schiffer-Petry, I., Gebhard, S., Pilch, H., Gehrmann, M., Lehr, H.A., Koelbl, H., Hengstler, J.G., Schuler, M. Clin. Cancer Res. (2008) [Pubmed]
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