Survivin, a Member of the Inhibitors of Apoptosis Family, Is Down-Regulated in Breast Carcinoma Effusions

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We analyzed the expression and prognostic role of inhibitors of apoptosis in breast carcinoma effusions. We used immunoblotting to analyze 22 effusions for XIAP, survivin, and livin expression. Based on immunoblotting results, 49 effusions and 46 corresponding solid tumors were immunostained for XIAP and survivin. Results were analyzed for association with anatomic site, clinicopathologic parameters, and survival. Immunoblotting showed frequent expression of XIAP and survivin and no expression of livin. Carcinoma cells in effusions showed lower survivin immunostaining compared with lymph node metastases (P = .008) and primary carcinomas (P = .041). Higher cytoplasmic survivin expression correlated with poor disease-free survival for patients with postchemotherapy effusions (P = .035). XIAP and survivin, but not livin, are frequently expressed in advanced breast carcinoma. Survivin is down-regulated in effusions compared with solid tumors, possibly in relation to the different cellular economy at this anatomic site. Survivin expression may predict disease-free survival for patients with postchemotherapy effusions.

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