Tissue microarray-based study of patients with lymph node-positive breast cancer shows tyrosine phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (tyrosine705-STAT3) is a marker of good prognosis
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- Sonnenblick, A., Shriki, A., Galun, E. et al. Clin Transl Oncol (2012) 14: 232. doi:10.1007/s12094-012-0789-z
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Although lymph node-positive breast cancers are associated with poorer prognosis, individual patients may have different clinical outcomes. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a point of convergence for numerous oncogenic signalling pathways. The goal of this study was to determine the prognostic value of phosphorylated (tyrosine705)-STAT3 in node-positive breast cancer patients.
Immunohistochemical analysis of Phospho-STAT3 was performed on a tissue microarray of breast cancer specimens. The expression pattern of Phospho-STAT3 was correlated with survival outcome, and clinical and pathological parameters.
Out of 125 interpretable tumours, positive Phospho-STAT3 nuclear expression was seen in 35 (28%) of tumours. There was no significant relationship between Phospho-STAT3 expression and clinical-pathological parameters including age, hormonal receptor status, grade and tumour size. Interestingly positive tumours had a significantly improved disease-free survival at 5 years (p=0.035). Additionally, positive Phospho-STAT3 nuclear expression was correlated with significantly improved survival at both 5 years (p=0.023) and 10 years (p=0.026). Finally, in multivariate analyses Phospho-STAT3 was found to be an independent prognostic marker of overall survival in node-positive breast cancer patients.
These findings support the role of Phospho-STAT3 as an important independent prognostic marker in node-positive breast cancer patients.