Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

CLCA2 Expression: Prognostic Biomarker for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Black Women?

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Friday, August 28, 2020

For Black women with triple-negative breast cancer, expression of the gene CLCA2 may potentially serve as a prognostic biomarker, according to a study published in PLOS One. “Our findings suggest potential new mechanisms for triple-negative tumor progression and identify possible new therapeutic targets that are relevant for African-American women,” reported Sudeshna Bandyopadhyay, MD, of the Detroit Medical Center, and colleagues.

A total of 155 Black patients with localized (63.2%) or regional (31.0%) triple-negative breast cancer enrolled in the study. All patients were treatment-naive and recruited from the Detroit Medical Center. Patients’ disease tested negative for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and HER2 protein expression. The study authors analyzed 27,016 genes within this patient population, focusing on CLCA2, MIR4311, and SPIC.

The investigators reported that Black women who expressed CLCA2 (hazard ratio = 1.56) demonstrated a 56% increased risk of death. Patients who expressed MIR4311 (hazard ratio = 1.57) had a 59% increased mortality risk. There was also a 47% increased risk of death in patients who expressed SPIC (hazard ratio = 1.47). In addition, there was a positive association of CLCA2 revealed by the meta-analysis (hazard ratio = 1.14).

Furthermore, the study authors compared their data with data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (1,084 breast tumors) and the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium (318 triple-negative breast tumors). They centered on data sets with at least 10 triple-negative breast cancers, which resulted in two usable data sets: GSE35629-GPL1390 and GSE69031. This comparison did not reveal any significant individual interactions of CLCA2 expression with the data sets; however, the trend was consistent with that seen in the Detroit patient population.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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