Prognostic value of preoperative serum levels of periostin (PN) in early breast cancer (BCa)

Pier Vitale Nuzzo, Alessandra Rubagotti, Francesca Argellati, Antonio Di Meglio, Elisa Zanardi, Linda Zinoli, Paola Comite, Michele Mussap, Francesco Boccardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PN is a secreted cell adhesion protein critical for carcinogenesis. Elevated serum levels of PN have been implicated as playing an important role in different types of cancer, and a few reports suggest a potential role as a prognostic marker. We evaluated the prognostic significance of preoperative serum PN concentration in patients with BCa receiving curative surgery. Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) was performed to determine the preoperative serum PN level in 182 patients. The correlations between serum PN concentration with clinical pathological features and PN expression in primary tumor samples were analyzed. The prognostic impact of serum PN levels with all-cause and BCa-specific mortality was also investigated. Appropriate statistics were used. Elevated serum PN levels were significantly associated with patient age (p = 0.005), adjuvant systemic therapy (p = 0.04) and progesterone receptor (PgR) status (p = 0.02). No correlation between PN preoperative serum levels and other clinical-pathological parameters, including either the epithelial or the stromal PN expression of primary tumoror the combination of the two, was found. Similarly, no association between serum PN levels and either all-cause or BCa-specific mortality was found. However, subgroup analysis revealed a correlation between higher PN serum levels and all-cause mortality in patients with node-negative disease (p = 0.05) and in those with a low PgR expression (p = 0.03). Higher levels of serum PN were also found to correlate with BCa-specific mortality in the subgroup of patients who did not receive any adjuvant systemic therapy (p = 0.04). Our findings suggest that PN was detectable in the serum of early BCa patients before surgery and increased base-line serum levels predicted worse long-term survival outcomes in specific subgroups of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17181-17192
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 28 2015


  • Biomarkers
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • Extracellular matrix proteins
  • Periostin protein
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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