FOXA1 is an independent prognostic marker for ER-positive breast cancer
- 902 Downloads
Forkhead box protein A1 (FOXA1) is a “pioneer factor” that plays a role in controlling nearly 50% of estrogen receptor target genes. FOXA1 expression correlates with estrogen receptor (ER)-positivity especially in luminal subtype A breast cancers. The aim of this study was to investigate the precise role of FOXA1 in breast cancer using a large population-based cohort. Nuclear expression of FOXA1 was analyzed in a tissue microarray of 4,444 invasive breast cancer cases using immunohistochemistry and correlated with clinicopathologic variables using previously described methods and cutoff points. The entire cohort was equally divided into a training and validation set. All survival analyses were performed using a previously defined cutoff (3) for validation. Additional X-tile analysis performed to analyze prognostic effects of low and high FOXA1 levels identified 24 as a cutoff. Bonferroni–Holmes test was used as appropriate. FOXA1 expression significantly correlated positively with markers of good prognosis or ER-positivity, and negatively with tumor size, tumor grade, nodal status, Ki67, HER2 expression, and basal subtype (each P value <0.0001). In both survival analyses, FOXA1 was a significant predictor of breast cancer-specific survival (P < 0.0001) and relapse-free survival (P < 0.0001). FOXA1 was also an independent predictor of breast cancer-specific survival at 10 years using both cutoffs. Among the ER-positive subgroup treated with tamoxifen, FOXA1 was an independent prognostic marker using the 24 cutoff (P = 0.030). FOXA1 is a significant marker of good prognosis in breast cancer; it also identifies a subset of ER-positive tamoxifen treated patients at low risk of recurrence.
KeywordsFOXA1 expression ER PR Breast cancer Tissue microarray Prognostic significance
The Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Sanofi-aventis Canada. We thank Caroline Speers and members of the Breast Cancer Outcomes Unit for clinical database management. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Kathy Miller, Indiana University for critical review and comments.
Conflicts of interest
Authors HN and SB have an invention disclosure with Indiana University for the use of FOXA1 as a prognostic marker in breast cancer. Both SB and HN are supported by grants from Susan G Komen Foundation.
- 1.Perou CM, Sorlie T, Eisen MB, van de Rijn M, Jeffrey SS, Rees CA, Pollack JR, Ross DT, Johnsen H, Akslen LA, Fluge O, Pergamenschikov A, Williams C, Zhu SX, Lonning PE, Borresen-Dale AL, Brown PO, Botstein D (2000) Molecular portraits of human breast tumours. Nature 406(6797):747–752PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 2.Carroll JS, Liu XS, Brodsky AS, Li W, Meyer CA, Szary AJ, Eeckhoute J, Shao W, Hestermann EV, Geistlinger TR, Fox EA, Silver PA, Brown M (2005) Chromosome-wide mapping of estrogen receptor binding reveals long-range regulation requiring the forkhead protein FOXA1. Cell 122(1):33–43PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Asselin-Labat ML, Sutherland KD, Barker H, Thomas R, Shackleton M, Forrest NC, Hartley L, Robb L, Grosveld FG, van der Wees J, Lindeman GJ, Visvader JE (2007) GATA-3 is an essential regulator of mammary-gland morphogenesis and luminal-cell differentiation. Nat Cell Biol 9(2):201–209PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 17.Albergaria A, Paredes J, Sousa B, Milanezi F, Carneiro V, Bastos J, Costa S, Vieira D, Lopes N, Lam EW, Lunet N, Schmitt F (2009) Expression of FOXA1 and GATA-3 in breast cancer: the prognostic significance in hormone receptor-negative tumours. Breast Cancer Res 11(3):R40PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 24.Cheang MC, Treaba DO, Speers CH, Olivotto IA, Bajdik CD, Chia SK, Goldstein LC, Gelmon KA, Huntsman D, Gilks CB, Nielsen TO, Gown AM (2006) Immunohistochemical detection using the new rabbit monoclonal antibody SP1 of estrogen receptor in breast cancer is superior to mouse monoclonal antibody 1D5 in predicting survival. J Clin Oncol 24(36):5637–5644PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 25.Chia S, Norris B, Speers C, Cheang M, Gilks B, Gown AM, Huntsman D, Olivotto IA, Nielsen TO, Gelmon K (2008) Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 overexpression as a prognostic factor in a large tissue microarray series of node-negative breast cancers. J Clin Oncol 26(35):5697–5704PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 26.Crabb SJ, Bajdik CD, Leung S, Speers CH, Kennecke H, Huntsman DG, Gelmon KA (2008) Can clinically relevant prognostic subsets of breast cancer patients with four or more involved axillary lymph nodes be identified through immunohistochemical biomarkers? A tissue microarray feasibility study. Breast Cancer Res 10(1):R6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 34.Hershman DL, Kushi LH, Shao T, Buono D, Kershenbaum A, Tsai WY, Fehrenbacher L, Lin Gomez S, Miles S, Neugut AI (2010) Early discontinuation and nonadherence to adjuvant hormonal therapy in a cohort of 8,769 early-stage breast cancer patients. J Clin Oncol 28(27):4120–4128PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar