Aims: Apolipoprotein D (ApoD) is a protein that is regulated by androgen and oestrogen, and is a major constituent of breast cysts. Although ApoD has been reported to be a marker of breast cancer, its prognostic importance in invasive breast cancer is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between ApoD protein expression, oestrogen receptor-α (ERα) expression and androgen receptor (AR) expression in predicting breast cancer outcome. Methods and results: ApoD levels were measured by the use of immunohistochemistry and video image analysis on tissue sections from a breast cancer cohort (n = 214). We assessed the associations of ApoD expression with disease-free survival (DFS), metastasis-free survival (MFS), and overall survival (OS). We also assessed the relationship between ApoD expression, AR expression and ERα expression in predicting OS. ApoD expression (>1% ApoD positivity) was found in 72% (154/214) of tissues. High ApoD positivity (≥20.7%, fourth quartile) was an independent predictor of MFS and OS, and conferred a 2.2-fold increased risk of developing metastatic disease and a 2.1-fold increased risk of breast cancer-related death. ApoD positivity was not associated with AR or ERα nuclear positivity. However, patients with (≥1%) ERα-positive cancers with low (<20.7%) ApoD positivity, or those showing high (≥78%) AR positivity and low (<20.7%) ApoD positivity had better OS than other patient groups. Conclusions: ApoD expression could be used to predict breast cancer prognosis independently of ERα and AR expression.
- apolipoprotein D
- breast cancer
- survival outcome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine