Prognostic role of syncytin expression in breast cancer

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Lars-Inge Larsson, Susanne Holck, Ib Jarle Christensen

Breast cancer cells were recently found to produce syncytin, an endogenous retroviral protein implicated in cell fusion, immune regulation, and nitric oxide synthase expression. To determine whether syncytin has a prognostic role in breast cancer, we investigated a series of 165 premenopausal lymph node-negative women for syncytin expression using an immunocytochemical scoring system. Results were analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method and with the Cox proportional hazard model. Syncytin expression was observed in 38% of the patients, and the degree of syncytin expression constituted a positive prognostic indicator for recurrence-free survival. In addition, we examined a second series of 54 consecutively operated breast cancer patients of all categories and the results supported the conclusions made from the first study. Thus, syncytin expression constitutes a positive prognostic factor in breast cancer - a phenomenon that may be related to the involvement of syncytin in mediating fusions between breast cancer cells and entodhelial cells.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)726-731
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • LIFE - Syncytin, Retroviral envelope protein, Breast cancer, Immunocytochemistry, Prognosis

ID: 8069272