Fox transcription factors play a critical role in the regulation of a variety of biological processes. While FoxM1 behaves like the oncogenic transcription factor, FoxO3a is known as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting FoxM1. This study aimed to investigate the clinicopathological significance of FoxM1 and FoxO3a expression in breast cancer. Expression of FoxM1 and FoxO3a were analyzed by immunohistochemical staining on tissue microarray sections from 236 breast cancer patients, and correlated with various clinicopathological characteristics. Overexpression of FoxM1 correlated with adverse clinicopathological features, such as larger tumor size, lymph node metastasis, advanced tumor stage, and lymphovascular invasion. The Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed no prognostic significance of FoxM1 expression. However, in subgroup analyses with patients of estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancers, FoxM1 overexpression associated with poor disease free and overall survival. No association was found between FoxO3a and FoxM1 expression. Regarding clinicopathological variables, the only association between histologic grade and FoxO3a was observed. In conclusion, FoxM1 overexpression was significantly associated with aggressive phenotypes and poor prognosis of ER-positive breast cancer. These findings suggest the possible role of FoxM1 as a prognostic biomarker and putative target of anti-cancer therapy.
- Breast neoplasms
- Forkhead transcription factor
- Foxhead box M1
- Foxhead box O3a