A prospective trial on initiation factor 4E (elF4E) overexpression and cancer recurrence in node-positive breast cancer

Derek R. McClusky, Quyen Chu, Herbert Yu, Arrigo DeBenedetti, Lester W. Johnson, Carol Meschonat, Richard Turnage, John C. McDonald, Fleurette Abreo, Benjamin D L Li, Nicholas J. Petrelli, Tien C. Ko, Leigh A Neumayer

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46 Scopus citations


Objective: A previous study of patients with stage I to III breast cancer showed that those patients whose tumors were in the highest tertile of eIF4E overexpression experienced a higher risk for recurrence. This study was designed to determine whether high eIF4E overexpression predicts cancer recurrence independent of nodal status by specifically targeting patients with node-positive disease. Methods: The prospective trial was designed to accrue 168 patients with node-positive breast cancer to detect a 2.5-fold increase in risk for recurrence. eIF4E level was quantified by Western blots as x-fold elevated compared with breast tissues from noncancer patients. End points measured were disease recurrence and cancer-related death. Statistical analyses performed include survival analysis by the Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazard model. Results: One hundred seventy-four patients with node-positive breast cancer were accrued. All patients fulfilled study inclusion and exclusion criteria, treatment protocol, and surveillance requirements, with a compliance rate >95%. The mean eIF4E elevation was 11.0 ± 7.0-fold (range, 1.4-34.3-fold). Based on previously published data, tertile distribution was as follow: 1) lowest tertile (<7.5-fold) = 67 patients, 2) intermediate tertile (7.5-14-fold) = 54 patients, and 3) highest tertile (> 14-fold) = 53 patients. At a median follow up of 32 months, patients with the highest tertile had a statistically significant higher cancer recurrence rate (log-rank test, P = 0.002) and cancer-related death rate (P = 0.036) than the lowest group. Relative risk calculations demonstrated that high eIF4E patients had a 2.4-fold increase in relative risk increase for cancer recurrence (95% confidence interval, 1.2-4.1; P = 0.01). Conclusions: In this prospective study designed to specifically address risk for recurrence in patients with node-positive breast cancer, the patients whose tumors were in the highest tertile of eIF4E overexpression had a 2.4-fold increase in relative risk for cancer recurrence. Therefore, eIF4E overexpression appears to be an independent predictor of a worse outcome in patients with breast cancer independent of nodal status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-592
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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