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Open AccessArticle

N-Cadherin mRNA Levels in Peripheral Blood Could Be a Potential Indicator of New Metastases in Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study

Department of Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, 4546 Tsurumihara, Beppu 874-0838, Japan
Department of Surgery, Saiseikai Karatsu General Hospital, 817 Motohata, Karatshu 847-0852, Japan
Ueo Breast Surgical Hospital, 188-2 haya, Oita 870-0854, Japan
Breast Oncology Center, The Cancer Institute Hospital Ariake of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, 3-8-31, Ariake, Koto, Tokyo 135-8550, Japan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 511;
Received: 4 January 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2020 / Accepted: 12 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Prognostic and Predictive Markers in Cancer Progression)
Background: There is growing evidence that patients with metastatic breast cancer whose disease progresses from a new metastasis (NM) have a worse prognosis than that of patients whose disease progresses from a pre-existing metastasis. The aim of this pilot study is to identify a blood biomarker predicting NM in breast cancer. Methods: The expression of epithelial (cytokeratin 18/19) or mesenchymal (plastin-3, vimentin, and N-cadherin) markers in the peripheral blood (PB) of recurrent breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy with eribulin or S-1 was measured over the course of treatment by RT-qPCR. The clinical significance of preoperative N-cadherin expression in the PB or tumor tissues of breast cancer patients undergoing curative surgery was assessed by RT-qPCR or using public datasets. Finally, N-cadherin expression in specific PB cell types was assessed by RT-qPCR. Results: The expression levels of the mesenchymal markers N-cadherin and vimentin were high in the NM cases, whereas that of the epithelial marker cytokeratin 18 was high in the pre-existing metastasis cases. High preoperative N-cadherin expression in PB or tumor tissues was significantly associated with poor recurrence-free survival. N-cadherin was expressed mainly in polymorphonuclear leukocytes in PB. Conclusion: N-cadherin mRNA levels in blood may serve as a novel prognostic biomarker predicting NM, including recurrence, in breast cancer patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: N-cadherin; EMT; breast cancer; new metastasis; eribulin; blood; biomarker N-cadherin; EMT; breast cancer; new metastasis; eribulin; blood; biomarker
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Masuda, T.; Ueo, H.; Kai, Y.; Noda, M.; Hu, Q.; Sato, K.; Fujii, A.; Hayashi, N.; Tsuruda, Y.; Otsu, H.; Kuroda, Y.; Eguchi, H.; Ohno, S.; Mimori, K.; Ueo, H. N-Cadherin mRNA Levels in Peripheral Blood Could Be a Potential Indicator of New Metastases in Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 511.

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