Background: Breast cancer metastasis is a highly prevalent cause of death for European females. DNA microarray analysis has established that primary tumors, which remain localized, differ in gene expression from those that metastasize. Crossanalysis of these studies allow to revile the differences that may be used as predictive in the disease prognosis and therapy.
Objective: The aim of the project was to validate suggested prognostic and therapeutic markers using meta-analysis of data on gene expression in metastatic and primary breast cancer tumors.
Method: Data on relative gene expression values from 12 studies on primary breast cancer and breast cancer metastasis were retrieved from Genevestigator (Nebion) database. The results of the data meta-analysis were compared with results of literature mining for suggested metastatic breast cancer markers and vectors and consistency of their reported differential expression.
Results: Our analysis suggested that transcriptional expression of the COX2 gene is significantly downregulated in metastatic tissue compared to normal breast tissue, but is not downregulated in primary tumors compared with normal breast tissue and may be used as a differential marker in metastatic breast cancer diagnostics. RRM2 gene expression decreases in metastases when compared to primary breast cancer and could be suggested as a marker to trace breast cancer evolution. Our study also supports MMP1, VCAM1, FZD3, VEGFC, FOXM1 and MUC1 as breast cancer onset markers, as these genes demonstrate significant differential expression in breast neoplasms compared with normal breast tissue.
Conclusion: COX2 and RRM2 are suggested to be prominent markers for breast cancer metastasis. The crosstalk between upstream regulators of genes differentially expressed in primary breast tumors and metastasis also suggests pathways involving p53, ER1, ERB-B2, TNF and WNT, as the most promising regulators that may be considered for new complex drug therapeutic interventions in breast cancer metastatic progression.