Angiogenesis Markers in Breast Cancer - Potentially Useful Tools for Priority Setting of Anti-Angiogenic Agents

  • Keyhani, Elahe (Genetics Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences) ;
  • Muhammadnejad, Ahad (Cancer Models Research Center, Cancer Institute of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Behjati, Farkhondeh (Genetics Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences) ;
  • Sirati, Fereidoon (Mehrad General Hospital) ;
  • Khodadadi, Faranak (Mehrad General Hospital) ;
  • Karimlou, Masoud (Biostatistics Department, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences) ;
  • Moghaddam, Fatemeh A. (Genetics Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences) ;
  • Pazhoomand, Reza (Genetics Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences)
  • Published : 2013.12.31


Background: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women in both developed and developing countries. The burden is increasing in low-income and middle-income countries (LMCs) and threatens the public health of such societies. Introduction of expensive monoclonal antibodies to cancer treatment regimens poses a real challenge in the health systems of LMCs. Despite controversy of cost-effectiveness of bevacizumab in breast cancer, some studies indicate gain of patients from this drug. The present study aimed to propose a priority setting model for administration of anti-angiogenic agents in breast cancer via assessment of tumor angiogenesis by the microvessel density (MVD) method and associations with clinicopathological characteristics (including simultaneous mutations of TP53 and HER-2 genes). Materials and Methods: Age, axillary lymph nodes status, tumor size, stage and grade, estrogen and progesterone receptors status, HER-2/neu status (by immunohistochemistry and FISH test), TP53 mutation, Ki-67 (for proliferation assay) and CD34 (for angiogenesis assay) were assessed in 111 breast cancer patients. The molecular subtype of each tumor was also determined and correlations of simultaneous mutations of HER-2 and p53 genes with angiogenesis and other clinicopathological characteristics were evaluated. Results: There were significant associations between simultaneous mutations of HER-2 and p53 genes and all other parameters except tumor size. The degree of angiogenesis in the ERBB2 subtype was greater than the others. Younger patients showed a higher angiogenesis rate rather those older than 50 years. Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that patients with simultaneous mutations of HER-2 and p53 genes, those with ERBB2 molecular subtype and also younger women (often triple negative) seem more eligible for obtaining anti-angiogenic agents. These results suggest a model for priority setting of patients with breast cancer for treatment with anti-angiogenic drugs in LMCs.


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