Association between Cyclooxygenase-2 and Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase Expression in Breast Cancer Patients from Pakistan

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Department of Basic Sciences, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH & RC), Lahore, Pakistan.

2 Department of Pathology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH & RC), Lahore, Pakistan.

3 Department of Cancer Registry and Clinical Data Management, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH & RC), Lahore, Pakistan.

4 Department of Clinical Research, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH & RC), Lahore, Pakistan.

Abstract

Background: Tumors use several immunosuppressive mechanisms to evade immune destruction. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression may be a driver of immunosuppression in breast cancer, but the mechanisms involved remain elusive. COX-2 expression induces the expression of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) in tumor cells. IDO is an immunosuppressive enzyme which is involved in tumor immune escape mechanisms in breast cancer. Our aim was to evaluate the association between COX-2 and IDO expression to find evidence of immunosuppression in Pakistani breast cancer patients. Methods: Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to evaluate the expression of COX-2, IDO, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded breast cancer tissues of 100 patients. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression model was used to identify the independent risk factors of COX-2. Results: A total of 100 patients were included with a mean age and standard deviation of 48.28 ± 11.83. A significant association was observed among COX-2, IDO, ER, PR and tumor grade. In multivariable analysis, three variables were identified as significant independent risk factors for high COX-2: IDO expression high; [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 6.51; 95% confidence interval (CI) (2.00-21.20), p=0.001], ER; [AOR 5.62; 95% CI (1.80-17.84), p=0.002] and age [AOR 1.04; 95% CI (1.00-1.10), p=0.05] respectively. Conclusion: Our data showed that high IDO expression is associated with high COX-2 expression in Pakistani breast cancer patients. The co-expression of both enzymes may suggest their role in disease pathogenesis. Hence the concurrent targeting of COX-2 and IDO may be a promising therapy for breast cancer.
 

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