Sperm protein 17 (Sp17) was found to be only expressed in breast cancer and not the normal breast tissue. Although Sp17 antibody can effectively inhibit the growth of human cancer cells, suggesting a potential therapeutic target, the role of Sp17 in tumor remains unclear. Hence, we examined the expression status of Sp17 in breast cancer and analyzed the correlation between Sp17 expression and clinicopathological parameters of breast cancer. We then proceeded to assess whether the expression of Sp17 has any effect on patient prognosis.
Quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry were conducted to test expression rate of Sp17 mRNA and protein in breast cancer samples, respectively. Clinicopathological parameters of each patient were collected by reviewing medical records. Reliable follow-up information was obtained via phone call. Kaplan–Meier regression was conducted for survival analysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify the variables associated with Sp17 expression.
We studied 100 primary breast cancer and 20 normal breast specimens. Sp17 was expressed in 27% of breast cancer samples. The difference between expression and non-expression of Sp17 was statistically significant in disease-free survival and overall survival. Lymph node metastasis and molecular subtyping were independent factors associated with Sp17 expression.
Our findings suggest a role for Sp17 in tumor metastasis and aggressiveness. Whether Sp17 can be used as a prognostic marker for breast cancer will require a study of a larger sample size.
The Ethics Committee of the Sichuan University.
Has not received any funding.
The author has declared no conflicts of interest.