YKL-40 expression could be a poor prognostic marker in the breast cancer tissue
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- Kang, E.J., Jung, H., Woo, O.H. et al. Tumor Biol. (2014) 35: 277. doi:10.1007/s13277-013-1036-0
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YKL-40 is a glycoprotein involved in cellular growth, migration, and the inflammatory process. Elevation in serum levels of YKL-40 has been associated with worse prognosis in various cancers, including breast cancer. Given that the clinical significance of YKL-40 expression in breast cancer tissue is unclear, we aimed to determine the prognostic value of YKL-40 expression in breast cancer tissue using immunohistochemistry. We performed tissue microarray (TMA) analysis of 425 breast cancer tissues collected during operation. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to measure expression of YKL-40 and several breast cancer biomarkers, such as aldehyde dehyadrogenase1, TGF-beta, and Gli-1 as well as hormonal receptor and Her-2/neu status. Statistical analysis of the relationship of YKL-40 expression with clinicopathological characteristics was performed for 390 TMA samples. YKL-40 was expressed to varying degrees in 84.9 % of breast cancer tissues. YKL-40 expression was correlated with estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor negativity and was positively correlated with TGF-beta and Gli-1 expression. Strong YKL-40 expression was associated with a larger proportion of Her-2/neu-enriched and basal-like tumors. The results of this study demonstrate that YKL-40 expression in breast cancer tissues is associated with hormone receptor negativity and Her-2/neu-enriched molecular subtypes of breast cancer, and therefore could be considered a poor prognostic predictor.