- The gastrointestinal peptide hormones ghrelin and obestatin have been found in breast cancer (BC) tissue.
- In female BC, ghrelin expression is linked to better survival in prior studies.
- In this study of male BC, expression of ghrelin in tumor tissue is also associated with longer BC-specific survival (BCSS).
- Expression of obestatin is not associated with longer BCSS in male BC.
Why this matters
- Ghrelin should be considered a favorable prognostic factor.
- Drugs to increase ghrelin expression are already under development for other disorders and should be considered for BC trials.
- Retrospective cohort of 197 BC cases from Sweden's National Cancer Register (1990-2007).
- Immunohistochemistry was used to identify ghrelin and obestatin expression in tumor samples.
- Funding: Swedish Cancer Society; Lion's Cancer Foundation; Swedish Breast Cancer Association.
- No correlations were observed between expression of ghrelin and obestatin and other known prognostic factors (e.g., tumor size, node status, age, Ki67).
- Ghrelin expression was associated with longer BCSS than no expression both in univariate analysis (HR, 0.39; P=.01) and in multivariate analysis, adjusting for tumor size and node status (HR, 0.38; P=.02).
- Obestatin expression was not associated with longer BCSS.
- Observational design.