Male breast cancer: ghrelin expression tied to better survival in Swedish study

  • Grönberg M & al.
  • Sci Rep
  • 11 sept. 2018

  • Par Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Résumés d'articles
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Takeaway

  • 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.

Study design

  • 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.

Key results

  • 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.

Limitations

  • Observational design.