Background: Topoisomerase II alpha (Topo IIa) is involved in DNA replication and is a molecular target for anthracycline-based chemotherapy. The Ki-67 labeling index (LI) is an evaluation of tumor cell proliferation. The objective of this study was to evaluate relationships among Topo IIa expression, the Ki-67 LI, and prognostic factors in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, human epidermal growth factor type-2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer.
Materials and methods: Seventy-one patients were diagnosed with ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer between July 2003 and December 2004. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor specimens were stained for Topo IIa expression and Ki-67 LI. We investigated the correlation of the level of Topo IIa expression and the Ki-67 LI with clinical factors such as age, tumor size, progesterone receptor status, nodal status, nuclear grade, and lymphovascular invasion (LVI).
Results: Statistically significant differences were observed between Topo IIa overexpression, nuclear grade (p = 0.036), and LVI (p = 0.029). Topo IIa overexpression was statistically correlated with the Ki-67 LI (p < 0.0001). A statistically significant difference was observed between the Ki-67 LI and nuclear grade (p = 0.01). Survival analysis revealed the significant prognostic value of Ki-67 LI in patients with ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer (p = 0.003).
Conclusions: Ki-67 LI is a strong prognostic factor in ER-positive HER2-negative breast cancer. Topo IIa overexpression was significantly correlated with the Ki-67 LI, nuclear grade, and LVI. These findings suggest use of Topo IIa expression as a proliferation marker and a prognostic factor in ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.