J Cancer 2017; 8(16):3122-3129. doi:10.7150/jca.22046 This issue
Department of Pathology, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, 59 Yatap-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, 13496, Korea.
Background: Fascin is an actin-bundling protein that promotes cancer cell migration and invasion. By contrast, breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) inhibits cancer metastasis by targeting multiple steps of the metastatic cascade. We evaluated whether expression patterns of fascin and BRMS1 correlate with clinicopathological features and patient outcome.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry for fascin and BRMS1 was performed using a tissue microarray constructed from 183 human breast cancer tissues. Fascin expression determined by the proportion of stained tumor cells (0: 0-5%, 1: 6-25%, 2: 26-50%, 3: 51-75%, or 4: >75%) and staining intensity (0: negative, 1: weak, 2: moderate, or 3: strong) were multiplied and defined as negative (0-3) or positive (4-12). BRMS1 expression was scored separately based on nuclear and cytoplasmic staining intensity (0: negative, 1: weak, 2: moderate, 3: strong). We obtained the BRMS1 H score by summing the nuclear and cytoplasmic scores and defined it as negative (0-2) or positive (3-6).
Results: Expression of BRMS1 showed a significant inverse correlation with that of fascin. Fascin+ tumors were significantly associated with no lymph node metastasis, higher histological and higher nuclear grade, ER/PR/HER2 negativity, and triple-negative subtype (all ps < 0.05). These clinicopathological differences showed the same trend in a comparison of fascin-/BRMS1+ and fascin+/BRMS1- tumors. Negative or weak BRMS1 cytoplasmic expression was significantly associated with shorter disease-free survival (DFS; p = 0.043). Fascin positivity was significantly associated with shorter DFS (p = 0.005) and overall survival (p = 0.020) when analyses were confined to node-negative patients.
Conclusions: This study confirms an inverse correlation between expression of fascin and expression of BRMS1 using a quite large cohort of human breast cancer tissues. Fascin alone or combined with BRMS1 was a worse prognostic marker, particularly in node-negative breast cancer patients.
Keywords: breast cancer, fascin, breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1, immunohistochemistry