CDK9 Expression Shows Role as a Potential Prognostic Biomarker in Breast Cancer Patients Who Fail to Achieve Pathologic Complete Response after Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

Published on Oct 14, 2018in International journal of breast cancer
· DOI :10.1155/2018/6945129
Ashley J. Schlafstein1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Emory University),
Allison E. Withers2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Emory University)
+ 10 AuthorsDavid S. Yu20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Emory University)
Failure to achieve pathologic complete response is associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer patients following neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). However, prognostic biomarkers for clinical outcome are unclear in this patient population. Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) is often dysregulated in breast cancer, and its deficiency results in genomic instability. We reviewed the records of 84 breast cancer patients from Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute who had undergone surgical resection after NACT and had tissue available for tissue microarray analysis (TMA). Data recorded included disease presentation, treatment, pathologic response, overall survival (OS), locoregional recurrence free survival (LRRFS), distant-failure free survival (DFFS), recurrence-free survival (RFS), and event-free survival (EFS). Immunohistochemistry was performed on patient samples to determine CDK9 expression levels after NACT. Protein expression was linked with clinical data to determine significance. In a Cox proportional hazards model, using a time-dependent covariate to evaluate the risk of death between groups beyond 3 years, high CDK9 expression was significantly associated with an increase in OS (HR: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.07-0.98, p=0.046). However, Kaplan-Meier curves for OS, LRRFS, DFFS, RFS, and EFS did not reach statistical significance. The results of this study indicate that CDK9 may have a potential role as a prognostic biomarker in patients with breast cancer following NACT. However, further validation studies with increased sample sizes are needed to help elucidate the prognostic role for CDK9 in the management of these patients.
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