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20.10.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2016

Tumor Biology 3/2016

St Gallen molecular subtypes in feline mammary carcinoma and paired metastases—disease progression and clinical implications from a 3-year follow-up study

Tumor Biology > Ausgabe 3/2016
M. Soares, J. Correia, M. C. Peleteiro, F. Ferreira
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s13277-015-4251-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Considering that scarce data are available on disease progression of feline mammary carcinoma (FMC), this study aimed to analyze the clinical, pathological, and immunophenotypic features collected from 61 queens with FMC and to compare the concordance ratios of the expression levels of five molecular markers (ER, PR, fHER2, CK5/6, and Ki-67) between primary tumors (PT) and metastatic lesions. The results showed that cats with luminal A mammary carcinomas (MC) had higher overall survival (924.6 days, p = 0.001) and longer disease-free period (385.4 days, p = 0.005) compared to the ones with other MC subtypes. In fact, queens with triple negative/basal-like MC showed the lowest survival (mean 156.2 days) and the shortest disease-free survival (mean 28 days) among the molecular subtypes of MC. The lung was the organ most frequently affected by metastases, and animals with lung and/or pleural metastases were more likely to display metastases at three or more locations (p = 0.039). A large heterogeneity in protein expression levels was found between PT and paired metastases, with both estrogen and progesterone receptors more likely to be downregulated in metastases. Paired metastases frequently had higher Ki-67 index than PT, whereas fHER2 overexpression was seen in 46 samples (30 %) and CK5/6 expression was found in 50.7 % of metastases (36/71). Results also revealed that disease progression leads to a high percentage of triple negative/basal-like metastases (9/23; 39.1 %) associated with the absence of luminal A subtype in distant metastases (0/23). This study highlights the prognostic importance of immunophenotyping of MC in cats, although the modified protein expression identified in metastases contributes to justify why possible targeted therapies may fail in some animals with metastatic disease. Altogether, the results obtained also demonstrate that FMC can be used as a model to study human breast cancer.

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Supplementary Table 1 (DOCX 23 kb)
Supplementary Table 2 (DOCX 43 kb)
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