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Prognostic Value of Mitotic Index and Bcl2 Expression in Male Breast Cancer
Published: Monday, April 01, 2013
Author: Miangela M. Lacle et al.

by Miangela M. Lacle, Carmen van der Pol, Arjen Witkamp, Elsken van der Wall, Paul J. van Diest

The incidence of male breast cancer (MBC) is rising. Current treatment regimens for MBC are extrapolated from female breast cancer (FBC), based on the assumption that FBC prognostic features and therapeutic targets can be extrapolated to MBC. However, there is yet little evidence that prognostic features that have been developed and established in FBC are applicable to MBC as well. In a recent study on FBC, a combination of mitotic index and Bcl2 expression proved to be of strong prognostic value. Previous papers on Bcl2 expression in MBC were equivocal, and the prognostic value of Bcl2 combined with mitotic index has not been studied in MBC. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the prognostic value of Bcl2 in combination with mitotic index in MBC. Immunohistochemical staining for Bcl2 was performed on tissue microarrays of a total of 151 male breast cancer cases. Mitotic index was scored. The prognostic value of Bcl2 expression and Bcl2/mitotic index combinations was evaluated studying their correlations with clinicopathologic features and their prediction of survival. The vast majority of MBC (94%) showed Bcl2 expression, more frequently than previously described for FBC. Bcl2 expression had no significant associations with clinicopathologic features such as tumor size, mitotic count and grade. In univariate survival analysis, Bcl2 had no prognostic value, and showed no additional prognostic value to tumor size and histological grade in Cox regression. In addition, the Bcl2/mitotic index combination as opposed to FBC did not predict survival in MBC. In conclusion, Bcl2 expression is common in MBC, but is not associated with major clinicopathologic features and, in contrast to FBC, does not seem to have prognostic value, also when combined with mitotic index.