KIBRA; a novel biomarker predicting recurrence free survival of breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant therapy

BMC Cancer. 2018 May 24;18(1):589. doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-4491-6.


Background: This study was carried out to evaluate the prognostic value of KIBRA in breast cancer.

Methods: This retrospective study included breast cancer patients who sought the services of the immunohistochemistry laboratory of our unit from 2006 to 2015. Tissue microarrays were constructed and immunohistochemical staining was done to assess the KIBRA expression. The Kaplan-Meier model for univariate and Cox-regression model with backward stepwise factor retention method for multivariate analyses were used. Chi square test was used to find out the associations with the established prognostic features.

Results: A total of 1124 patients were included in the study and KIBRA staining of 909 breast cancers were available for analysis. Cytoplasmic KIBRA expression was seen in 39.5% and nuclear expression in 44.8%. Overall KIBRA-low breast cancers accounted for 41.5%. KIBRA nuclear expression was significantly associated with positive ER and PR expression. Luminal breast cancer patients who had endocrine therapy and KIBRA-low expression had a RFS disadvantage over those who were positive for KIBRA (p = 0.02). Similarly, patients who received chemotherapy and had overall KIBRA-low expression also demonstrated a RFS disadvantage compared to those who had overall positive KIBRA expression (p = 0.018). This effect of KIBRA was independent of the other factors considered for the model.

Conclusion: Overall low-KIBRA expression has an independent effect on the RFS and predicts the RFS outcome of luminal breast cancer patients who received endocrine therapy and breast cancer patients who received chemotherapy.

Keywords: Breast cancer; ER; Endocrine therapy; KIBRA; Recurrence free survival.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / analysis*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Phosphoproteins / analysis*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • WWC1 protein, human