Article: article from journal or magazin.
The humoral immune system has a key prognostic impact in node-negative breast cancer.
Estrogen receptor (ER) expression and proliferative activity are established prognostic factors in breast cancer. In a search for additional prognostic motifs, we analyzed the gene expression patterns of 200 tumors of patients who were not treated by systemic therapy after surgery using a discovery approach. After performing hierarchical cluster analysis, we identified coregulated genes related to the biological process of proliferation, steroid hormone receptor expression, as well as B-cell and T-cell infiltration. We calculated metagenes as a surrogate for all genes contained within a particular cluster and visualized the relative expression in relation to time to metastasis with principal component analysis. Distinct patterns led to the hypothesis of a prognostic role of the immune system in tumors with high expression of proliferation-associated genes. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, the proliferation metagene showed a significant association with metastasis-free survival of the whole discovery cohort [hazard ratio (HR), 2.20; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.40-3.46]. The B-cell metagene showed additional independent prognostic information in carcinomas with high proliferative activity (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.46-0.97). A prognostic influence of the B-cell metagene was independently confirmed by multivariate analysis in a first validation cohort enriched for high-grade tumors (n = 286; HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.62-0.98) and a second validation cohort enriched for younger patients (n = 302; HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.7-0.97). Thus, we could show in three cohorts of untreated, node-negative breast cancer patients that the humoral immune system plays a pivotal role in metastasis-free survival of carcinomas of the breast.
Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antibody Formation, Breast Neoplasms, Carcinoma, Cell Proliferation, Cluster Analysis, Cohort Studies, Female, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Genes, Neoplasm, Humans, Lymph Nodes, Lymphatic Metastasis, Middle Aged, Neutrophil Infiltration, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Prognosis
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