Oncotarget

Research Papers:

Tumor vasculogenic mimicry formation as an unfavorable prognostic indicator in patients with breast cancer

Yanwei Shen, Jianfeng Quan, Mengying Wang, Shuting Li, Jiao Yang, Meng Lv, Zheling Chen, Lingxiao Zhang, Xiaoai Zhao and Jin Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:56408-56416. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16919

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Abstract

Yanwei Shen1,*, Jianfeng Quan2,*, Mengying Wang3,4, Shuting Li1, Jiao Yang1, Meng Lv1, Zheling Chen1, Lingxiao Zhang1, Xiaoai Zhao1 and Jin Yang1

1Department of Medical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710061, P.R. China

2Department of Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang, Shaanxi, 712000, P.R. China

3Institute of Endemic Diseases, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710061, P.R. China

4Key Laboratory of Environment and Genes Related to Diseases, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710061, P.R. China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jin Yang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: vasculogenic mimicry, breast cancer, prognosis

Received: February 14, 2017    Accepted: March 17, 2017    Published: April 07, 2017

ABSTRACT

Vasculogenic mimicry (VM), a newly defined pattern of tumor blood perfusion, describes the functional plasticity of aggressive tumor cells forming de novo vascular networks and is associated with the cancer progression and metastasis. However, the VM-positive rate and the impact of VM status on breast cancer patients’ clinicopathological parameters and prognosis remain unclear. Thus, we performed a meta-analysis by incorporating all available evidence to clarify these issues. Eight studies that involved 1,238 breast cancer patients were eligible for inclusion in our study. We found the VM-positive rate was 24% (pooled proportion was 0.24, 95% CI= 0.13–0.34), and VM was significantly associated with larger tumor size (>2 cm) (OR=0.49, 95% CI=0.26-0.90, P=0.02) and lymph node metastasis (OR=0.27, 95% CI=0.13-0.57, P=0.0005). A boardline correlation was also identified between VM and poorer differentiation (Grade II-III) (OR=0.07, 95% CI=0.00-1.24, P=0.07). Nevertheless, no statistically significant associations were observed between VM and hormone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status. Moreover, the results showed that breast cancer patients with VM-positive have a shorter overall survival than those with VM-negative (HR=0.23, 95% CI=0.08-0.38,P=0.003). In summary, VM was associated with more aggressive tumor phenotype and poor prognosis in patients with breast cancer. Developing strategies against the VM formation would be a promising therapeutic approach to breast cancer.


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