The relationship of the neo-angiogenic marker, endoglin, with response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer

Br J Cancer. 2006 Dec 18;95(12):1683-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6603491.


Endoglin (CD105) is upregulated in endothelial cells of tissues undergoing neovascularisation. A greater number of CD105-positive vessels predicts poor survival in breast cancer. We examine whether CD105 expression predicts response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Fifty-seven women (median age 50 years, range 29-70) received neoadjuvant chemotherapy for operable breast cancer. Immunohistochemical staining using monoclonal antibodies to CD105 and CD34 was performed on pretreatment biopsies and post-treatment surgical specimens. Individual microvessels were counted in 10 random fields at x 200 magnification. Median counts were correlated with clinical and pathological response using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Forty-five out of fifty-seven patients (79%) responded clinically, 22 (39%) responded pathologically. On pretreatment biopsies, clinical responders had significantly lower median CD105-positive vessel counts than nonresponders (median counts 5 and 9.3/high-power field (hpf), median difference=4.0/hpf, 95% CI 0.5-8.0/hpf, P=0.02). For pathological responders and nonresponders, median counts were 4.8 and 5.5/hpf (median difference -0.5/hpf, 95% CI=-2.5-2.0/hpf, P=0.77). CD34 expression (total microvessel density) did not correlate with response. Pretreatment CD105 expression predicts for clinical response to chemotherapy, with a lower initial count being favourable. Patients with high baseline new vessel counts or increased counts after conventional therapy may benefit from additional antiangiogenic therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Endoglin
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • ENG protein, human
  • Endoglin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface