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10.05.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2017 Open Access

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 6/2017

FOXC1 overexpression is a marker of poor response to anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy in sporadic triple-negative breast cancer

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology > Ausgabe 6/2017
Y. L. Xu, R. Yao, J. Li, Y. D. Zhou, F. Mao, B. Pan, Q. Sun
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00280-017-3319-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Y. L. Xu and R. Yao have contributed equally to this work.



Because of its aggressive characteristics and poor prognosis, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has become a hot topic in cancer research. Chemotherapy is currently the only treatment for patients with TNBC. The transcription factor FOXC1 has been associated with TNBC prognosis, but little is known about its effect on chemosensitivity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of FOXC1 on chemosensitivity.


A case–control study was performed on 25 TNBC patients who experienced relapse and/or metastasis. Another 25 patients without relapse or metastasis were randomly selected as controls. Medical records were reviewed for relevant information, and immunohistochemistry was performed to measure FOXC1 levels. The Kaplan–Meier method and Cox analysis were used to analyze differences in disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). The correlation of FOXC1 expression with chemosensitivity was analyzed. Data were analyzed using SPSS 21.0 software, and a P value <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.


In 15 of 22 case patients, FOXC1 was overexpressed, whereas only 8 control patients exhibited FOXC1 overexpression (P < 0.05). FOXC1 expression had no correlation with pathological indicators. An anthracycline-based regimen was administered to 21 study patients and 23 control patients. FOXC1 expression was significantly associated with a worse DFS (HR 2.62, 95% CI 1.05–6.50, P = 0.038) but presented no correlation with OS (HR 2.53, 95% CI 0.76–8.40, P = 0.131) among these 44 patients.


This study shows that FOXC1 is correlated with chemosensitivity to anthracycline and could be used as an indicator of chemosensitivity in sporadic TNBC.

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