CD146, involved in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), might affect cancer aggressiveness. We here investigated the prevalence of CD146 expression in breast cancer subtypes, its relation to prognosis, the relation between CD146 and EMT and the outcome to tamoxifen. Primary breast cancer tissues from 1342 patients were available for this retrospective study and immunohistochemically stained for CD146. For survival analyses, pure prognosis was studied by only including lymph-node negative patients who did not receive (neo)adjuvant systemic treatment (n = 551). 11% of the tumors showed CD146 expression. CD146 expression was most prevalent in triple-negative cases (64%, p < 0.001). In univariable analysis, CD146 expression was a prognostic factor for both metastasis-free survival (MFS) (p = 0.020) and overall survival (OS) (p = 0.037), but not in multivariable analysis (including age, tumor size, grade, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and Ki-67). No correlation between CD146 and EMT nor difference in outcome to first-line tamoxifen was seen. In this large series, our data showed that CD146 is present in primary breast cancer and is a pure prognostic factor for MFS and OS in breast cancer patients. We did not see an association between CD146 expression and EMT nor on outcome to tamoxifen.

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Department of Medical Oncology

Kruijff, I., de, Timmermans, A., den Bakker, M., Trapman-Jansen, A. M. A. C., Foekens, R., Meijer van Gelder, M., … Sleijfer, S. (2017). The Prevalence of CD146 Expression in Breast Cancer Subtypes and Its Relation to Outcome. doi:10.3390/cancers10050134