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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This article looked at the influence of calpain-9 on breast cancer survival following endocrine therapy.

Some background

Calpain-9 is a protein that is important in the processes of cell signalling (communication between cells). Irregular expression of these proteins can be seen in breast cancer and some of these proteins can even promote tumor growth. While expression of this protein has been examined in other cancers, there is limited information in breast cancer. 

Methods & findings

The aim of this study was to determine the importance of calpain-9 in breast cancer prognosis (outlook). 783 women suffering from early stage invasive breast cancer were evaluated. This included women who received either endocrine therapy (37%), chemotherapy or mastectomy (surgery to remove a breast).

Low levels of calpain-9 were associated with smaller tumor size, tumor stage, age (54.1% of women aged 40 and over, compared to 1.4% of women aged 40 and younger) and an overall better disease outlook. 

Though overall calpain-9 levels were not associated with survival, low calpain-9 expression negatively affected prognosis in the women who underwent endocrine therapy. These women had a 44% reduced likelihood in survival.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that in women undergoing hormone therapy, low levels of calpain-9 may be an indicator of disease outlook. 

Published By :

BMC cancer

Date :

Dec 23, 2014

Original Title :

Low calpain-9 is associated with adverse disease-specific survival following endocrine therapy in breast cancer.

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