AKR1B10 overexpression in breast cancer: association with tumor size, lymph node metastasis and patient survival and its potential as a novel serum marker

International Journal of Cancer, 05/07/2012

Ma J et al. – AKR1B10 is overexpressed in breast cancer and may be a novel prognostic factor and serum marker for this deadly disease.


  • Aldo-keto reductase 1B10 (AKR1B10) is a secretory protein that is upregulated with tumorigenic transformation of human mammary epithelial cells.


  • AKR1B10 was overexpressed in 20 (71.4%) of 28 ductal carcinomas in situ, 184 (83.6%) of 220 infiltrating carcinomas, and 28 (87.5%) of 32 recurrent tumors.
  • AKR1B10 expression in breast cancer was correlated positively with tumor size (p=0.0012) and lymph node metastasis (p=0.0123), but inversely with disease-related survival (p=0.0120).
  • Univariate (p=0.0077) and multivariate (p=0.0192) analyses both suggested that AKR1B10, alone or together with tumor size and node status, is a significant prognostic factor for breast cancer.
  • Silencing of AKR1B10 in BT-20 human breast cancer cells inhibited cell growth in culture and tumorigenesis in female nude mice.
  • AKR1B10 in the serum of breast cancer patients was significantly increased to 15.18 ± 9.08ng/ml (n=50; 95% CI, 12.60-17.76), with a high level up to 58.4ng/ml, compared to 3.34 ± 2.27ng/ml in healthy donors (n=60; 95% CI, 2.78-3.90).
  • AKR1B10 levels in serum were correlated with its expression in tumors (r=0.8066; p<0.0001).

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