The prognostic importance of cathepsin D and E-cadherin in early breast cancer: A single-institution experience. Academic Article uri icon


  • Molecular tools have increasingly been used for decision-making in patients with early breast cancer (EBC). Nevertheless, simple tools such as immunohistochemistry may still be required in particular cases to complement traditional and molecular prognosticators. In this study, the prognostic significance of three well-known immunohistochemical biomarkers, cathepsin D, E-cadherin and Ki67, was studied in 270 patients with EBC, followed by a median time of 126 months in a single institution. Histological examination was performed to confirm the histopathological diagnosis and select specimens. The specimens were evaluated using immunohistochemistry and survival curves were plotted. Results revealed the following patient characteristics: node-negative/1-3 lymph nodes in 228 (86%) patients, hormone receptor-positive in 217 (80%); triple-negative in 31 (11%), and Her2-overexpression in 23 (9%) patients. Breast cancer-related events occurred in 37 patients (14%). A total of 217 patients (80%) survived. Receiver operating characteristic analysis for breast cancer-specific survival showed an area under curve for the clinicopathological model of 0.75 (95% CI, 0.64-0.86), 0.79 (95% CI, 0.68-0.90) for the three-biomarker model, and 0.82 (95% CI, 0.72-0.92) for the E-cadherin and cathepsin D only model. We propose that a simple prognostic model based on combined scores of E-cadherin and cathepsin D may aid treatment decisions in patients with EBC.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011