Augmented expression of polo-like kinase 1 indicates poor clinical outcome for breast patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Yunfeng Zhang, Zhibin Wu, Dapeng Liu, Meng Wang, Guodong Xiao, Peili Wang, Xin Sun, Hong Ren, Shou-Ching Tang and Ning Du _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:57723-57732. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17301

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Yunfeng Zhang1*, Zhibin Wu2*, Dapeng Liu1*, Meng Wang1, Guodong Xiao1, Peili Wang1, Xin Sun1, Hong Ren1, Shou-Ching Tang3,4 and Ning Du1

1 Department of Thoracic Surgery and Oncology, the Second Department of Thoracic Surgery, Cancer Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, 710061, China.

2 The Third Department of Surgery, Shenmu County Hospital, Yulin, Shaanxi Province, 719300, China.

3 Georgia Cancer Center Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, 30912, United States.

4 Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin 300060, China.

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Ning Du, email:

Shou-Ching Tang, email:

Keywords: polo-like kinas 1, breast cancer, clinical outcome, meta-analysis

Received: February 06, 2017 Accepted: March 09, 2017 Published: April 20, 2017


Polo-like kinases 1 (PLK1), a key regulator of mitosis, plays an essential role in maintaining genomic stability. Up-regulation of PLK1 was found in tumorigenesis and tumor progression of diverse cancers. However, the clinicopathological and prognostic implications of PLK1 in breast cancer (BC) have yet to be unveiled. Therefore, using PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Chinese databases, we conducted a meta-analysis to define the potential clinical value of PLK1 in BC. Eleven eligible articles with 2481 patients enrolled were included in the present meta-analysis, of which eight studies reported on the relationship between PLK1 expression and clinicopathological features, and nine studies provided survival data in BC patients. Furthermore, the results revealed that high PLK1 levels were significantly associated with larger tumor size (OR=1.703, 95%CIs: 1.315-2.205, P<0.001), higher pathological grading (OR=6.028, 95%CIs: 2.639-13.772, P<0.001), and lymph node metastasis (OR= 1.524, 95%CIs: 1.192-1.950, P=0.001). Moreover, PLK1 was found to be a valuable factor for distinguishing lobular BC from ductal BC with the pooled OR=0.215(95%CIs: 0.083-0.557, P=0.002). Analysis of included data showed that high PLK1 expression significantly indicated worse overall survival for BC patients (HR= 3.438, 95%CIs: 2.293-5.154, P<0.001), as well as worse cancer specific survival and disease-free survival (HR=2.414, 95%CIs: 1.633-3.567, P<0.001 and HR= 2.261, 95%CIs: 1.796-2.951, P<0.001, respectively). This quantitative meta-analysis suggests that high PLK1 expression is a credible indicator for the progression of BC and confirms a higher risk of a worse survival rate in patients with BC.

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