Characterization of GATA3 and Mammaglobin in breast tumors from African American Women

Author(s): Luisel J. Ricks-Santi, Kristianna Fredenburg, Moein Rajaei, Ashwin Esnakula, Tammey Naab, J. Tyson McDonald, Yasmine Kanaan

GATA3 and Mammaglobin are often used in the clinic to identify metastases of mammary origin due to their robust and diffuse expression in mammary tissue. However, the expression of these markers has not been well characterized in tumors from African American women. The goal of this study was to characterize and evaluate the expression of GATA3 and mammaglobin in breast tumors from African American women and determine their association with clinicopathological outcomes including breast cancer subtypes. Tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed from well preserved, morphologically representative tumors in archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) surgical blocks from 202 patients with primary invasive ductal carcinoma. Mammaglobin and GATA3 expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Univariate analysis was carried out to determine the association between expression of GATA3, mammaglobin and clinicopathological characteristics. Kaplan-Meier estimates of overall survival and disease-free survival were also plotted and a log-rank test performed to compare estimates among groups. GATA3 expression showed statistically significant association with lower grade (p<0.001), ER-positivity (p<0.001), PR-positivity (p<0.001), and the luminal subtype (p<0.001). Mammaglobin expression was also significantly associated with lower grade (p=0.031), ER-positivity (p=0.007), and PR-positivity (p=0.022). There was no association with recurrence-free or overall survival. Our results confirm that GATA3 and mammaglobin demonstrate expression predominantly in luminal breast cancers from African American women. Additional markers with improved specificity and sensitivity are warranted for triple negative breast tumors given the high prevalence in women of African descent.

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