[277] Comparative Expression Profiles of E-Cadherin and Vimentin in Triple Negative and Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Carcinoma

Matthew J Swadley, Cynthia Cohen, Harold C Sullivan, Daron J Williams, LaTonia D Taliaferro-Smith, Gabriela M Oprea, Amy L Adams. Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Background: Breast cancer is increasingly recognized as a diverse disease process with a variety of molecular backgrounds which dictate prognosis, behavior, and treatment. Triple negative (TN) breast cancer is particularly notable for its poor prognosis and difficulty in treatment due in part to its lack of receptor targets. Recent in vitro studies of TN cancers demonstrate changes in histologic appearance (epithelial to mesenchymal and vice versa) upon silencing of IGF-1R, as noted via an inverse relationship between expression of E-cadherin and vimentin by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Our goal is to investigate an in vivo relationship between E-cadherin and vimentin expression in TN cancers compared to estrogen receptor-positive (ERP) breast carcinomas.
Design: Tissue microarrays of breast carcinoma from 216 patients (100 TN, 116 ERP) were retrospectively examined for expression of E-cadherin and vimentin via IHC. Stain results in the TN group were compared to those in the ERP group using a Chi-square test. Pearson correlations were used to explore relationships between TN status, patient age, tumor size, grade, lymph node (LN) status, angiolymphatic invasion (ALI), and E-cadherin and vimentin expression.
Results: TN carcinomas showed decreased expression of E-cadherin (p=.002) and increased expression of vimentin (p <.001) compared with ERP carcinomas.

Immunophenotype of Studied Groups
 Positive/Total%Positive/Total%P value

TN tumors exhibited significant correlations with increased tumor size, higher grade, LN metastasis, decreased E-cadherin and increased vimentin expression, compared to ERP tumors, but not with age or ALI. When tumor size, grade, and LN status are controlled, a significant relationship between TN status and e-cadherin negativity (r=-.226, p<.001), and vimentin positivity (r=.532, p <.001) remains. No significant correlation between E-cadherin and vimentin expression was identified within either the TN or ERP group. A weaker but significant correlation between increasing tumor grade and vimentin positivity was identified (r=.145, p=.034), independent of TN status.
Conclusions: Controlled correlations provide evidence that TN breast carcinoma displays increased vimentin and decreased E-cadherin expression, compared to ERP cancers, independent of tumor size, grade, and LN status. These expression patterns provide further support for the unique molecular makeup of breast carcinoma subtypes. A direct in vivo relationship between E-cadherin and vimentin expression is not identified.
Category: Breast

Monday, March 19, 2012 9:30 AM

Poster Session I Stowell-Orbison/Surgical Pathology/Autopsy Awards Poster Session # 25, Monday Morning


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