DEK overexpression is correlated with the clinical features of breast cancer
To investigate the clinicopathological significance of DEK overexpression in breast cancers, a total of 196 cases, including 20 of normal tissues, 12 of intraductal hyperplasia, 31 of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and 133 of invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast, were selected from the Department of Pathology, Yanbian Tumor Hospital for immunohistochemical staining of DEK, estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR) and Ki-67 proteins. In results, DEK protein had higher positivity in DCIS, compared with the adjacent normal breast tissues. Also, DEK protein was strongly positive in invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast on immunohistochemistry, which was significantly higher than normal breast tissues. However, only two (2/12) cases of intraductal hyperplasia of the breast showed positive staining for DEK protein. Additionally, DEK overexpression was significantly correlated with the increased proliferating index of Ki-67. For the histological grade, DEK positive rate was only 39.6% in G1 breast cancers, but significantly higher in G2 (92.3%) and G3 (97.0%) cases (P<0.05). Also, a strongly positive rate of DEK was lower in Stage-0 (21.4%) and Stage-I (40.9%) compared with Stage-IIa (87.5%), Stage-IIb (89.7%) and Stage-IIIa (92.3%) (P<0.05). And DEK protein showed higher expression level in <3 years disease free survival breast cancers than it did in ≥3 years disease free survival cases (P<0.05). However, no statistically difference was found among DEK expression, lymph node metastasis, and ER and PR expressions. In conclusion, DEK overexpression appears to be associated with breast cancer progression and DEK may potentially be used as a breast cancer biomarker for the early diagnosis, prognostic evaluation and therapeutic target for breast cancer.