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

Ep-CAM RNA expression predicts metastasis-free survival in three cohorts of untreated node-negative breast cancer.

Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (Ep-CAM) recently received increased attention as a prognostic factor in breast cancer. We aimed to validate the influence of Ep-CAM RNA expression in untreated node-negative breast cancer. Ep-CAM RNA expression was evaluated utilizing microarray-based gene-expression profiling in 194 consecutive node-negative breast cancer patients with long-term follow-up not treated in the adjuvant setting. The prognostic significance of Ep-CAM RNA expression for disease-free survival (DFS), metastasis-free survival (MFS), and breast cancer-specific overall survival (OS) was evaluated in univariate and multivariate analysis adjusted for age, grading, pTstage, ER as well as PR receptor and HER-2 status. Additionally, Ep-CAM RNA expression was compared with immunohistochemistry (IHC) for Ep-CAM in 194 patients. The prognostic impact of Ep-CAM gene expression was validated in further 588 node-negative breast cancer patients. Levels of Ep-CAM RNA expression showed a significant correlation with IHC (P = 0.001) and predicted in univariate analysis DFS (P = 0.001, HR = 2.4), MFS (P = 0.003, HR = 2.5), and OS (P = 0.002, HR = 3.1) accurately. The prognostic influence of Ep-CAM RNA was significant also in multivariate analysis for DFS (P = 0.017, HR = 2.0), MFS (P = 0.049, HR = 1.9), and OS (P = 0.042, HR = 2.3), respectively. The association with MFS was confirmed in an independent validation cohort in univariate (P = 0.006, HR = 1.9) and multivariate (P = 0.035, HR = 1.7) analysis. Ep-CAM RNA correlated with the proliferation metagene (P < 0.001, R=0.425) Nevertheless, in multivariate analysis, Ep-CAM was associated with MFS independent from the proliferation metagene (P = 0.030, HR = 1.8). In conclusion, Ep-CAM RNA expression is associated with poor MFS in three cohorts of untreated node-negative breast cancer.[1]


  1. Ep-CAM RNA expression predicts metastasis-free survival in three cohorts of untreated node-negative breast cancer. Schmidt, M., Petry, I.B., Böhm, D., Lebrecht, A., von Törne, C., Gebhard, S., Gerhold-Ay, A., Cotarelo, C., Battista, M., Schormann, W., Freis, E., Selinski, S., Ickstadt, K., Rahnenführer, J., Sebastian, M., Schuler, M., Koelbl, H., Gehrmann, M., Hengstler, J.G. Breast Cancer Res. Treat. (2011) [Pubmed]
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