Oncol Lett 2017 Aug 16;14(2):2334-2340. Epub 2017 Jun 16.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.
Tumor resistance to endocrine therapy triggers estrogen-independent cancer progression, which is a major obstacle to the successful treatment of hormone receptor positive breast cancer (BC). The underlying molecular mechanisms of endocrine resistance are not fully understood yet. The matricellular protein cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61 (Cyr61) is associated with tumor invasiveness and the induction of tumorigenesis in various malignancies and the induction of estrogen-independence and endocrine therapy resistance in BC. The present study evaluated the potential effects and clinical relevance of Cyr61 expression levels in 67 patients with primary non-metastatic BC. Immunohistochemical analysis of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections was performed, and the association between Cyr61 protein expression and clinicopathological factors and survival was analyzed. Cyr61 overexpression was revealed to be significantly associated with a positive estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR) status (P=0.016) and to the molecular subtype of BC (P=0.039). Compared with patients without Cyr61 overexpression, patients with Cyr61 overexpression exhibited an increased recurrence rate (30.6 vs. 22.6%) and decreased long-term survival (10-year overall survival, 62.9 vs. 69.7%); however, these associations did not reach statistically significant levels in Cox regression model analysis. Similar results were identified in the subgroup analysis of patients with ER/PR positive BC. These results indicate that Cyr61 serves a role in the development of endocrine therapy resistance in BC and is thus a potential therapeutic target to overcome endocrine therapy resistance. However, additional long-term survival analyses with large patient populations are required.