In a nutshell
This article looked at the influence of calpain-9 on breast cancer survival following endocrine therapy.
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 :
Dec 23, 2014
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