To investigate whether there is a predictive effect of NF-kappaB, survivin, and Ki-67 expressions on pathological response and disease relapse in breast cancer (BC) patients. Ki-67, survivin and NF-kappaB expressions were analyzed in the pathology specimens of breast biopsy before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NeoCT) in BC patients (n=52). Event -free survival (EFS) (defined as recurrence or metastasis free) analyze was performed. The median overall survival was 43.5 months and the median EFS was 51 months (95% CI: 33.3-68.9) in all patients. The expression percentages of NF-kappaB, survivin, and Ki-67 significantly decreased after NeoCT (p<0.001). Survivin expression level before NeoCT was significantly higher in patients who did not respond to NeoCT than both partial-responders and complete-responders (p=0.038, p=0.010, respectively). Type of NeoCT was the only independent factor on pathological response status (p=0.007). Addition of taxanes to NeoCT improved pathological complete response rates about six times. However, no predictor was found to be a prognostic factor for EFS in multivariate analyze. Higher survivin expression level before NeoCT may be associated with poor pathological response to NeoCT. These findings must be tested with prospective clinical trials.
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