Heat-shock Protein 70 as a Prognostic Marker in Node-Negative Breast Cancer

Anticancer Res. Mar-Apr 2003;23(2A):1057-62.


Background: Heat-shock proteins (hsp) are involved in processes which are associated with tumour neogenesis and the biological behaviour of tumours. The object of our study was to investigate the significance of the 70 kDa hsp for the outcome of women with node-negative breast cancer.

Patients and methods: Paraffin sections of 191 patients with operated breast cancer and a median follow-up of 177 months were stained immunohistochemically with a commercially available antibody against hsp70.

Results: We found a statistically significant correlation of the nuclear staining pattern with tumour size (> or < or = 2 cm; p = 0.046) and with a low tumour grading (G1 and G2 versus G3; p = 0.029). Patients showing a cytoplasmatic staining for hsp70 had a statistically significantly decreased overall survival [OS] (p = 0.04) and a shorter survival after recurrence [SR] (p = 0.026).

Conclusion: The nuclear share of hsp70 is associated with various biological characteristics of malignant breast tumours, while the occurrence of cytoplasmatic hsp70 influences OS and SR.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis
  • Receptors, Progesterone / analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone