The prognostic significance of sialyl-Tn antigen in women treated with breast carcinoma treated with adjuvant chemotherapy

Anita Yeomans Kinney, Aysegul Sahin, Sally W. Vernon, Ralph F. Frankowski, John F. Annegers, Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, Aman U. Buzdar, Debra K. Frye, Kapil Dhingra

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47 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Sialyl-Tn (STn) represents an aberrantly glycosylated mucin epitope that is expressed in breast carcinoma and other adenocarcinomas and is an important factor in the development of novel immunotherapeutic approaches. The primary aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of STn expression on the prognoses of patients with breast carcinoma. METHODS. A cohort of 207 women diagnosed with invasive breast carcinoma who were treated with anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy and were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial were studied. Expression of STn was determined by an immunohistochemical procedure in which the B72.3 monoclonal antibody was used. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional regression survival analyses were used to compare low STn and high STn patients. RESULTS. Forty-eight (23%) of the 207 specimens demonstrated high STn staining (>25% cells were immunoreactive). During a median follow-up of 5 years, high STn patients had worse disease free survival than low STn patients (55% vs. 74%, respectively;, P = 0.03). High STn expression was significantly associated with age (P = 0.04) but not with other conventional prognostic markers. In multivariate analysis using the Cox regression model, high STn emerged as an independent prognostic indicator for disease free survival (hazard ratio [HR], 2.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-3.73) and for overall survival (HR, 2.16; 95% CI, 0.954.92). CONCLUSIONS. The results of this study suggest that STn may be a valuable marker for identifying women at high risk of developing recurrent breast carcinoma who may be candidates for trials investigating new therapies in combination with standard adjuvant therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2240-2249
Number of pages10
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • B72.3 antibody
  • Breast carcinoma
  • Sialyl-Tn antigen
  • Tumor biology


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