PPARgamma expression in breast cancer: clinical value and correlation with ERbeta

Histopathology. 2005 Jan;46(1):37-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2005.02056.x.


Aims: To examine the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) in invasive breast carcinoma in relation to known clinicopathological features, ERbeta, and relapse-free and overall patient survival. PPARgamma is a ligand-activated transcriptional factor that regulates the transcription of various target genes and has been implicated in human breast cancer.

Methods and results: We performed immunohistochemistry to detect PPARgamma, ERalpha, PR and ERbeta in 170 infiltrative breast carcinomas. The results were subjected to statistical analysis. PPARgamma was detected in the cytoplasm of 58% of breast carcinoma samples. PPARgamma did not differ with regard to any of the clinicopathological parameters except for histological grade, to which it was found to be inversely correlated (P = 0.019), and ERbeta, to which it was positively related (P = 0.016). As regards relapse-free survival, in univariate statistical analysis PPARgamma was found to exert a marginally favourable impact on all the patients (P = 0.076), but a strong one on patients with ductal carcinoma (P = 0.027), whereas Cox's regression analysis depicted PPARgamma to be an independent prognosticator for patients with ductal carcinoma (P = 0.039). No association was found between PPARgamma expression and overall survival.

Conclusion: These results indicate the favourable impact of PPARgamma expression on disease-free survival of patients with ductal breast carcinoma and its possible cooperation with ERbeta in exerting that favourable effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism*
  • Recurrence


  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • PPAR gamma