Alterations of the FHIT gene in breast cancer: association with tumor progression and patient survival

Cancer Detect Prev. 2001;25(3):292-8.


Our previous results on breast tumors show that LOH (loss of heterozygosity) at the FHIT locus is associated with reduced Fhit protein expression. We have also shown that LOH at this locus is significantly higher in tumors from patients carrying the BRCA2 999de15 mutation than in tumors without this mutation, presumably because of lack of DNA repair. Here, our aim was to determine the relationship of FHIT LOH with breast tumor progression. Five microsatellite markers located within the FHIT gene were typed in 239 breast tumors and corresponding normal tissue, and the LOH results were compared with clinicopathologic factors and LOH at other chromosome regions. LOH at FHIT is associated with estrogen- and progesterone-negative breast tumors, high S-phase fraction, reduced patient survival, and LOH at chromosome regions 6q, 7q, 8p, 9p, 11p, 11q, 13q, 16q, 17p, 17q, 18q, and 20q. A multivariate analysis shows that LOH at FHIT results in a 60% increased relative risk of dying. We conclude that the loss of FHIT results in growth advantage of breast tumor cells, is associated with unstable genome, and may be of prognostic value.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acid Anhydride Hydrolases*
  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity*
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins*
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Survival Analysis


  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • fragile histidine triad protein
  • Acid Anhydride Hydrolases