Objectives: To analyze the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) to assess their prognostic significance.
Methods: The expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin was examined semiquantitatively and correlated with other pathologic factors and survival outcomes.
Results: Of 72 consecutive TNBCs, 56% showed reduced membranous expression of E-cadherin or β-catenin, with a strong correlation to each other. Of the clinicopathologic factors analyzed, tumor size and nodal status were significantly associated with overall survival and disease-specific survival, while the latter remained an independent factor by multivariate analysis. Reduced E-cadherin and β-catenin were both significantly associated with a poor overall survival and disease-specific survival by univariate and multivariate analyses.
Conclusions: E-cadherin and β-catenin expression provides discriminative prognostic power independent of conventional pathologic factors, thus further reinforcing the important role of cell adhesion molecules in the process of tumor metastasis, especially in TNBC.