The Hypoxic Response Expression as a Survival Biomarkers in Treatment-Naive Advanced Breast Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of General Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia.

2 Biology Molecular and Immunology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia.

3 Division of Medical Oncology-Hematology, Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, Makasar, Indonesia.

4 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia.


Objective: Hypoxia-associated biomarkers profiling may provide information for prognosis, staging, and subsequent therapy. We aim to evaluate whether the quantitative gene and protein expression of hypoxic response tumor markers - carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) and hypoxia- inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF1A) — may have a role in predicting survival in advanced breast cancer of Indonesian population. Methods: Tumor tissues and peripheral blood samples were collected from treatment - naïve locally advanced (LABC) or metastatic breast cancer patients (MBC) at Wahidin Sudirohusodo General Hospital (Makassar, South Sulawesi) and its referral network hospitals from July 2017 to March 2019. The level of mRNA (of blood and tumor tissue samples) and soluble protein (of blood samples) of CAIX and HIF1A were measured by RT-qPCR and ELISA methods, respectively, besides the standard histopathological grading and molecular subtype assessment. The CAIX and HIF1A expression, patients’ age, tumor characteristics, surgery status, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy drug classes were further involved in survival analyses for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Results: Forty (30 LABC, 10 MBC) eligible patients examined were 21 hormone-receptors positives (15 Luminal A, 6 Luminal B) and 19 hormone-receptors negatives (10 HER2-enriched, 9 triple-negative). The CAIX blood mRNA and CAIX soluble protein levels in hormone-receptors negative patients were higher than in hormone-receptor-positive patients (p < 0.05). In univariate analysis, both CAIX and HIF1A levels predict OS (except HIF1A protein) with CAIX tissue mRNA has the highest hazard ratio (HR 8.04, 95%CI:2.45-26.39), but not PFS. Cox proportional hazard model confirmed that CAIX tissue mRNA is the independent predictor of OS (HR 6.10, 95%CI: 1.16-32.13) along with surgical status and tumor advancement type (LABC or MBC). Conclusions: CAIX mRNA expression of tumor tissue in treatment-naïve advanced breast cancer has a predictive value for OS.


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