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Prognostic value of tumoral sialyltransferase expression and circulating E-selectin concentrations in node-negative breast cancer patients

Int J Biol Markers. 2003 Apr-Jun;18(2):116-22. Hebbar M, Krzewinski-Recchi MA, Hornez L, Verdiere A, Harduin-Lepers A, Bonneterre J, Delannoy P, Peyrat JP.

Laboratoire d'Oncologie Moleculaire Humaine, Centre Oscar Lambret, Lille, France.

  • AIMS AND BACKGROUND: A crucial step in the metastatic process is the interaction between the endothelial molecule E-selectin and its tumoral ligands sialyl-Lewis- and sialyl-Lewis. Sialyltranferases are involved in the biosynthesis of these ligands. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of tumoral sialyltransferase expression and of circulating soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) in node-negative breast cancer patients. METHODS: Using a multiplex RT-PCR method, we measured the expression of five sialyltransferases (ST3Gal III, ST6Gal I, ST3Gal IV, ST3Gal I and ST3Gal II) in tumors of 135 surgically treated node-negative breast cancer patients. Circulating sE-selectin concentrations were measured by an ELISA method prior to surgery. We also analyzed tumor size, histoprognostic grading and steroid hormone receptor status. RESULTS: The median follow-up was 7.5 years. Expression of estrogen receptors was associated with a good prognosis for relapse-free survival in univariate analysis. A high ST3Gal III/ST6Gal I ratio and a high sE-selectin concentration were associated with a bad prognosis for relapse-free survival and overall survival in univariate and multivariate analysis. CONCLUSION: In the present study, tumoral sialyltransferase expression and circulating sE-selectin concentrations had prognostic value in patients with node-negative breast cancer. This result provides further evidence for the important role of these agents in the metastatic process.