Molecular beacon reverse transcription-PCR of human chorionic gonadotropin-beta-3, -5, and -8 mRNAs has prognostic value in breast cancer.
SourceClinical Chemistry, 49, 7, (2003), pp. 1074-1080
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectUMCN 1.2: Molecular diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring; UMCN 1.4: Immunotherapy, gene therapy and transplantation; UMCN 5.2: Endocrinology and reproduction
BACKGROUND: The beta-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is encoded by four genes, of which expression of the hCGbeta-3, -5, and -8 genes could have prognostic value in breast cancer. METHODS: Applying a new, modified Molecular Beacon reverse transcription-PCR assay, we investigated the prognostic value of the hCGbeta-3, -5, and -8 gene transcripts in 129 sporadic unilateral breast cancer samples from patients with a median follow-up of 62.3 months. RESULTS: Expression of hCGbeta-3, -5, -8 was significantly (P = 0.020) associated with relapse-free survival (RFS). In multivariate survival analysis, hCGbeta-3, -5, and -8 maintained prognostic value for RFS, with high expression predicting shorter RFS (P = 0.015; hazard ratio, 2.25; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-4.34). Only 1 of 24 (4%) node-negative patients with low hCGbeta-3, -5, -8 expression relapsed, in contrast to 7 of 26 (27%) patients with high expression (P = 0.046). CONCLUSIONS: Expression of hCGbeta-3, -5, -8, which differ by only one nucleotide from other hCGbeta genes, can be assessed by our modified Molecular Beacon assay in breast cancer tissues. Expression of hCGbeta-3, -5, -8 has independent, prognostic value for RFS in breast cancer and may help identify node-negative patients with poor prognosis.
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