, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 154-160

Correlation and expression of p53, HER-2, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and e-cadherin in a high-risk breast-cancer population

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Background

Methods

Archived primary breast tumors from 77 patients were assessed by immunohistochemical analysis for expression of human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER-2), p53, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and e-cadherin, and the relationships between the expressions of these molecules were studied.

Results

Twenty-two (29%) patients had advanced (stage III or IV) disease. HER-2, VEGF, e-cadherin, and p53 signal were positive for 31 (40%), 58 (75%), 63 (82%), and 37 (48%) of patients, respectively. Among the markers tested, only p53 exhibited a significant association between expression and stage of the disease (P = 0.012). Expression of e-cadherin was positively associated with HER-2 overexpression (P = 0.004), and high levels of HER-2 occurred with strongly positive e-cadherin tumors. Marginally significant positive associations were observed between HER-2 and p53 signal (P = 0.06), and between disease stage and e-cadherin expression (P = 0.08).

Conclusion

The significant tendency toward expression of e-cadherin in conjunction with HER-2 overexpression in breast cancer is a novel finding. The association of p53 with more advanced stages of cancer emphasizes it as a key participant in metastatic processes in breast cancer.