Correlations of chemerin expression with clinicopathologic variables
Chemerin expression was positively correlated with patients’ weight, BMI, tumor size, LN metastasis, distant metastasis, and tumor grading (r=0.256, P=0.04; r=0.233, P=0.03; r=0.235, P=0.03; r=0.265, P=0.045; r=0.267, P=0.02; r=0.421, P=0.004), respectively, and was inversely correlated with estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) expression in malignant breast tissues (r=-0.437, P=0.038), and (r=-0.316, P=0.047), respectively. Correlations of chemerin expression with clinicopathological variables were shown in Table 3.
Chemerin expression as predictor and prognostic factor of breast cancer
Chemerin expression was evaluated as a predictor of breast cancer, Figure 4. The AUC was 0.82 (P<0.001), with a sensitivity of 89% and specificity of 69%. The 5-year disease-free survival rates among patients with higher expression were significantly worse than patients with low chemerin expression (P=0.001), Figure 4. Figure 5 showed the Kaplan–Meier survival curves for the patients according to chemerin expression level. A significant difference in survival was observed between patients with high chemerin expression levels (n=30) in comparison to those with low chemerin expression levels (n=23). To assess other factors affecting 5-year disease-free survival, we used the Cox proportional hazard analysis. The factors considered were age, BMI, fasting blood sugar, tumor size, differentiation grade, histological type, and chemerin expression. The univariate Cox regression analysis indicated that TNM stage (HR 6.23, 95% CI 2.86–13.56; P=0.001), differentiation grade (HR 21.28, 95% CI 7.81–58; P=0.001), and chemerin expression level (HR 2.07, 95% CI 1.08–3.97; P=0.029) were independent factors affecting the 5-year disease-free survival rate.