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Characteristics of basal cytokeratin expression in breast cancer

Alshareeda, Alaa T., Soria, Daniele, Garibaldi, Jonathan M., Rakha, Emad, Nolan, Christopher, Ellis, Ian O., Green, Andrew R. (2013) Characteristics of basal cytokeratin expression in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 139 (1). pp. 23-37. ISSN 0167-6806. E-ISSN 1573-7217. (doi:10.1007/s10549-013-2518-x) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:98894)

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Breast cancer is recognised to be a heterogeneous disease and the second most common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide in women. Basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) is associated with aggressive characteristics including development of recurrent disease and reduced survival. BLBC has been defined in some studies as tumours lacking both oestrogen receptor and progesterone receptor protein expression. Gene expression studies have shown that these tumours are also associated with expression of basal-type cytokeratins, the phenotypic patterns of basal cytokeratin expression in BLBC have not been widely studied. A well-characterised series of 995 invasive breast cancers with a long-term follow up were investigated using immunohistochemical staining for four basal cytokeratins (CK5, CK5/6, CK14 and CK17). The data were analysed using univariate and clustering analysis. As a result BLBC, as defined by negativity for ER and HER2 showed variable positivity for basal cytokeratin expression: 61.7 CK5, 50.5 CK5/6, 24.2 CK14 and 23 CK17. These characteristics were associated with poor outcome characteristics including high histological grade, mitosis, pleomorphism and tumour size >1.5 cm. CK5 positivity was more associated with ER-, PgR-, TN and double ER-PgR-, than the other cytokeratins. Four different clusters of basal cytokeratin expression patterns were identified: (1) negativity for all basal cytokeratins, (2) CK5+/CK17-, (3) CK5-/CK17+ and (4) CK5+/CK17+. These patterns of basal cytokeratin expression associated with differences in patient outcome, clusters 1 and 3 showed better outcomes than cluster 4 and 2, with cluster 2 having the poorest prognosis. In conclusion, four basal cytokeratin expression patterns were identified in human breast cancer using unsupervised clustering analysis and these patterns are associated with differences in patient outcome. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10549-013-2518-x
Additional information: cited By 31
Uncontrolled keywords: Basal-like breast cancer, Basal cytokeratins, Clustering analysis
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Funders: University of Nottingham (
Depositing User: Daniel Soria
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2022 08:55 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 10:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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