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Polish Journal of Pathology
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vol. 69
Original paper

Distribution of CXCR4 and tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes in breast cancer subtypes; their relationship with each other, axillary lymph node involvement, and other prognostic indicators

Fatma S. Pehlivan, Oya N. Sivrikoz, Filiz Dag, Sibel D. Kececi, Salahattin M. Sanal

Pol J Pathol 2018; 69 (4): 335-341
Online publish date: 2019/01/31
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We have investigated the distribution of chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) and CD8-positive, tumour-infiltrating T lymphocytes (CD8+ TILs) in breast cancer subtypes and explored the relationship between them and the well-established conventional prognostic markers, including axillary lymph node involvement.

A total of 250 breast cancer patients were included in the study. The patients were separated into luminal A+B, HER2 enriched/overexpressed (HER2+), and triple-

negative, on the basis of their staining characteristics, via conventional staining methods. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for CXCR4 and CD8+ TILs were performed on the archival tissues from each patient.

With increasing intensity of CXCR4 staining, there was a higher incidence of lymph node metastasis (p < 0.01). Similarly, there was a positive correlation between the primary tumour size, HER2+ subtype, lymphovascular invasion, and axillary lymph node involvement. Dense lymphocytic infiltration was observed in HER2+ and triple-negative patients. No correlation between CD8+ TILs in all sites and breast cancer subtypes was discovered. A reverse correlation was discovered with CD8+ TILs stained only intratumorally and CXCR4 expression.

In conclusion, lymph node involvement correlates with higher CXCR4 expression in all breast cancer subtypes. Conversely, no such correlation is found with CD8+ TILs.

breast cancer, breast cancer subtype, CXCR4, tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes

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