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Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 122, Issue 11, pp 687–692 | Cite as

The important prognostic value of Ki-67 expression as determined by image analysis in breast cancer

  • T. Pietiläinen
  • P. Lipponen
  • S. Aaltomaa
  • M. Eskelinen
  • V-M. Kosma
  • K. Syrjänen
Original Paper Clinical Oncology

Abstract

A series of 191 female breast carcinomas (with long-term follow-up) were analysed immunohistochemically (with a monoclonal MIB1 antibody) for Ki-67 (a proliferation marker) expression with special reference to well-established prognostic factors and patient survival. Expression of Ki-67 was directly related to the S-phase fraction (P<0.0001), the volume-corrected mitotic index (P<0.0001), histological grade (P<0.0001), the apoptotic index (P<0.0001), oestrogen and progesterose receptor content (P<0.0001 for both) and p53 accumulation (P=0.001). No correlation was found between Ki-67 expression and lymph node status (P=0.25), metastasis at operation (n=0.81) or tumour size (n=0.38). The proliferation rate, as measured by image analysis of Ki-67 expression, predicted survival in the entire cohort (P=0.001) and in axillary-lymph-node-negative (ANN) patients (P=0.003). The difference in recurrence-free survival between the high- and low-expression groups was greatest in ANN tumours, 40% (P=0.008). In axillary-lymph-node-positive tumours, the Ki-67 expression was not significantly related to recurrence-free survival (P=0.723). The results of multivariate survival analysis showed that tumour size, axillary lymph node status, and mitotic index were independent prognostic factors in the entire series whereas, in ANN cases, tumour size and Ki-67 labelling were independent prognostic factors. These findings imply that Ki-67 expression could be an important prognostic determinant in breast cancer. Because of the evident loss of the predictive power of tumour size in the 1990s, the prognostic value of Ki-67 expression may even be accentuated in the currently diagnosed small breast carcinomas.

Key words

Cell proliferation Breast cancer Image analysis Ki-67. Prognosis 

Abbreviations

M/V

index the volume-corrected mitotic index

ANN

axillary lymph node negative

ANP

axillary lymph node positive

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Pietiläinen
    • 1
  • P. Lipponen
    • 1
  • S. Aaltomaa
    • 2
  • M. Eskelinen
    • 2
  • V-M. Kosma
    • 1
  • K. Syrjänen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Forensic MedicineUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department SurgeryUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland

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