Low thyroid hormone receptor alpha-2 (THRα-2) tumor expression is associated with unfavorable tumor characteristics and high breast cancer mortality

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Sammanfattning

Background
The active thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) has been found to have an estrogen-like effect on breast cancer cells. Thyroid hormone receptor alpha-2 (THRα-2) acts as an antagonist for triiodothyronine (T3) signaling, and a low expression has been associated with unfavorable tumor characteristics and a higher mortality in breast cancer. However, the evidence are not conclusive. The present study evaluates tumor-specific THRα-2 expression in invasive breast cancers and its association with tumor characteristics and long-term mortality in a large population.

Method
The Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS), a population-based cohort in Sweden that included 17,035 women from 1991 to 1996, was used. Women diagnosed with breast cancer during 1991–2010 were eligible for inclusion. A tissue micro array was constructed from stored tumor material and stained for THRα-2 using immunohistochemistry. Tumors from 654 patients were scored regarding the intensity and the fraction of cells stained, then dichotomized into low or high expression. Date and cause of death were collected up until 2018-12-31. Tumor- and patient characteristics were available from the MDCS. Missing data was imputed using chained equations. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for low vs high expression of THRα-2 related to specific tumor factors. Mortality was evaluated with Kaplan–Meier curves and Cox regression, rendering hazard ratios (HRs). Analyses were also stratified for estrogen receptor (ER) status.

Results
We found strong evidence of an association between low THRα-2 and unfavorable tumor characteristics, including estrogen receptor negativity: OR 4.04 (95% CI 2.28–7.15) and tumor size > 20–50 mm: OR 2.20 (95% CI 1.39–3.49). We found evidence of increased breast cancer-specific mortality for women with low THRα-2, HR 1.38 (95% CI 0.96–1.99), which remained after adjusting for age at diagnosis, HR 1.48 (95% CI 1.03–2.14), but not after adjusting for relevant prognostic factors, HR 0.98 (95% CI 0.66–1.45). THRα-2 expression in ER-negative tumors had an inverse correlation with overall mortality, HR 0.27 (95% CI 0.11–0.65).

Conclusion
Low tumor-specific THRα-2 expression was in this study associated with prognostically unfavorable tumor characteristics and a higher mortality in breast cancer, but not independent from other prognostic factors.
Originalspråkengelska
Artikelnummer117
Sidor (från-till)1-12
TidskriftBreast Cancer Research
Volym23
DOI
StatusPublished - 2021

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Cancer och onkologi

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