Objective: The goal of this study was to detect the intertumoral heterogeneity of CT10, CT45 and GAGE7 expression and further to analyze their prognostic value.
Methods: The intertumoral heterogeneity of three cancer/testis antigens was examined by immunohistochemistry using 120 samples from patients with infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma. The expression patterns were classified and correlated with the clinicopathologic variables and outcome of the patients.
Results: CT10 showed punctate, focal and diffuse expression patterns according to the characteristic of its distribution. CT45 showed cytoplasmic, nuclear or combined cytoplasmic and nuclear expression patterns according to its subcellular location. GAGE7 exhibited nuclear, cytoplasmic and nucleolar expression patterns. Three cancer/testis antigens were also observed coordinately expressed in infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma. Patients with tumors with CT10 expression was significantly correlated with nodal metastases (P < 0.001) and advanced clinical stages (P = 0.001). Patients with tumors with cytoplasmic GAGE7 and with the expression of two or more cancer/testis antigens were significantly correlated with advanced clinical stages (P = 0.001 and P = 0.030). No signiﬁcant difference was identiﬁed between the different expression patterns of CT45 and clinicopathologic variables. In addition, Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that diffuse CT10 expression and coexpression of three cancer/testis antigens were related to the poor prognosis of patients with infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma.
Conclusions: Diffuse CT10 expression and the coexpression of three cancer/testis antigens can be used as a biomarker to distinguish patients with a poorer outcome of the breast carcinoma. Our finding may provide useful data for evaluating the prognosis of this disease and improving the effectiveness of therapeutic application based on the three cancer/testis antigens.