(Purpose) Aurora A, a mitotic serine/threonine kinase, is involved in important process of mitotic progression. The aim of this study is to clarify characteristics of breast cancer with Aurora A expression. (Methods) We examined, by immunohistochemical analysis, the expression of Aurora A in primary invasive breast cancer. We also investigated the correlation between expression of Aurora A and clinicopathological and biological factors. In addition, we studied the prognostic value of Aurora A in breast cancer.

(Results) In 215 cases of invasive cancer examined, Aurora A was mainly identified in tumor nuclei. Aurora A expression was detected in 67 (31.2%) cases. Expression of Aurora A was correlated with tumor size (p=0.002), lymph node metastasis (p=0.002), tumor stage (p=0.04) and histological grade (p=0.0031). Aurora A expression was also associated with hormone receptor negativity (p=0.0001), and increased levels of HER2 (p<0.0028), Ki67 (p<0.0001), HIF-1alpha (p<0.0001), VEGF (p=0.007), COX-2 (p=0.002) and p53 (p<0.0001). Patients who had increased Aurora A levels in their tumor showed shorter disease-free survival (DFS) (p<0.0001) and overall survival (OS) (p=0.0002) than those lacking Aurora A in univariate analysis. However, in multivariate analysis of DFS and OS, Aurora A was not identified an independent prognostic factor.

(Conclusion) Aurora A expression was significantly correlated with tumor burden, poorly differentiation, negativity of hormone receptors, tumor cell proliferation, and tumor angiogenesis. These findings suggest that Aurora A was closely related with an aggressive phenotype in breast cancer.

Citation Information: Cancer Res 2011;71(24 Suppl):Abstract nr P5-03-02.