Legumain Protein as a Potential Predictive Biomarker for Asian Patients with Breast Carcinoma

  • Wu, Mei (Department of Radiology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University) ;
  • Shao, Guang-Rui (Department of Radiology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University) ;
  • Zhang, Fei-Xue (Department of Radiology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University) ;
  • Wu, Wen-Xiu (Department of Radiology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University) ;
  • Xu, Ping (Department of Radiology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University) ;
  • Ruan, Zheng-Min (Department of Radiology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University)
  • Published : 2015.01.22


Background: Treatment for breast cancer is mainly performed by surgical resection of primary tumors and chemotherapy. However, after tumor invasion and metastases, breast cancer is hard to control. Clarification of the pathogenic mechanisms would be helpful to the prognosis or therapy for the breast cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the clinical and prognostic implications of legumain protein Materials and Methods: In this study, we examined mastectomy specimens from 114 breast cancer and matching, 26 adjacent non-cancerous tissues using immunohistochemistry. Results: The results indicated that positive expression of legumain protein in breast cancer was 51.8 % (59/114) and the positive expression of legumain protein in adjacent non-cancerous tissue was 11.5% (3/26). It appeared to be related with lymph node metastasis of breast cancer (p=0.02) and correlation analysis indicated that legumain expression was correlated positively with the estrogen receptor (ER) and mutant-type p53 expression (both p<0.05). Positive legumain expression was significantly associated with shorter overall survival time in breast cancer patients (log-rank p<0.01). Multivariate survival analysis suggested that the positive legumain expression was an independent predictor of poorer overall survival in patients with breast cancer (HR=0.24; 95%CI 0.11-0.65, p=0.03). Conclusions: Legumain might be a new potential biomarker for breast cancer, which may reflect the prognosis and overall survival.


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