N-cadherin mRNA levels in peripheral blood could be a potential indicator of new metastases in breast cancer: A pilot study

Takaaki Masuda, Hiroki Ueo, Yuichiro Kai, Miwa Noda, Qingjiang Hu, Kuniaki Sato, Atsushi Fujii, Naoki Hayashi, Yusuke Tsuruda, hajime otsu, Yohsuke Kuroda, Hidetoshi Eguchi, Shinji Ohno, Koshi Mimori, Hiroaki Ueo

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5 Citations (Scopus)


There is growing evidence that patients with metastatic breast cancer whose disease progresses from a new metastasis (NM) have a worse prognosis than that of patients whose disease progresses from a pre-existing metastasis. The aim of this pilot study is to identify a blood biomarker predicting NM in breast cancer. Methods: The expression of epithelial (cytokeratin 18/19) or mesenchymal (plastin-3, vimentin, and N-cadherin) markers in the peripheral blood (PB) of recurrent breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy with eribulin or S-1 was measured over the course of treatment by RT-qPCR. The clinical significance of preoperative N-cadherin expression in the PB or tumor tissues of breast cancer patients undergoing curative surgery was assessed by RT-qPCR or using public datasets. Finally, N-cadherin expression in specific PB cell types was assessed by RT-qPCR. Results: The expression levels of the mesenchymal markers N-cadherin and vimentin were high in the NM cases, whereas that of the epithelial marker cytokeratin 18 was high in the pre-existing metastasis cases. High preoperative N-cadherin expression in PB or tumor tissues was significantly associated with poor recurrence-free survival. N-cadherin was expressed mainly in polymorphonuclear leukocytes in PB. Conclusion: N-cadherin mRNA levels in blood may serve as a novel prognostic biomarker predicting NM, including recurrence, in breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number511
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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