INTRODUCTION: To investigate whether there is a predictive effect of NF-kappaB, survivin, and Ki-67 expressions on pathological response and disease relapse in breast cancer (BC) patients
METHODS: Ki-67, survivin and NF-kappaB expressions were analyzed in the pathology specimens of breast biopsy before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NeoCT) in BC patients (n=52). Event-free survival (EFS) (defined as recurrence or metastasis free) analyze was performed.
RESULTS: The median overall survival was 43.5 months and the median EFS was 51 months (95% CI: 33.3-68.9) in all patients. The expression percentages of NF-kappaB, survivin, and Ki-67 significantly decreased after NeoCT (p<0.001). Survivin expression level before NeoCT was significantly higher in patients who did not respond to NeoCT than both partial-responders and complete-responders (p=0.038, p=0.010, respectively). Type of NeoCT was the only independent factor on pathological response status (p=0.007). Addition of taxanes to NeoCT improved pathological complete response rates about six times. However, no predictor was found to be a prognostic factor for EFS in multivariate analyze.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Higher survivin expression level before NeoCT may be associated with poor pathological response to NeoCT. These findings must be tested with prospective clinical trials.