Expression of Axl and its prognostic significance in human breast cancer
- Gaoyuan Jin
- Zhenzhen Wang
- Jianguang Wang
- Like Zhang
- Yanbin Chen
- Pengfei Yuan
- Dechun Liu
Published online on: Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Copyright: © Jin et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Breast cancer is the most common malignant cancer and second leading cause of cancer‑related death among women, and its prevalence continues to increase. Axl overexpression has been identified in the many types of human cancer, and it has been demonstrated to participate in signaling pathways related to carcinogenesis and cancer development. In the present study, Axl expression was examined by performing immunohistochemical staining in 60 breast cancer tumors and 40 benign breast lesions (25 mammary dysplasia and 15 breast fibroadenoma). In total, 34 (56.67%) cancer tissues and 13 (32.5%) benign breast lesions were classified as exhibiting high levels of Axl expression, indicating a significant association between malignancy and high Axl expression. High Axl expression was also associated with estrogen receptor (ER) positivity (P=0.028), progesterone receptor (PR) positivity (P=0.007), and poor tumor differentiation (P=0.033). No significant associations were observed between Axl expression and age, tumor size, lymph node metastasis, tumor node metastasis staging, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and Ki67 antigen. The Kaplan‑Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard model both demonstrated that there was no statistical difference between Axl expression and breast cancer prognosis. However, it remains unclear whether the expression of Axl is correlated with the prognosis of luminal type breast cancer patients.