Prognostic relevance of glucosylceramide synthase (GCS) expression in breast cancer

Eugen Ruckhäberle, Thomas Karn, Lars Hanker, Regine Gätje, Dirk Metzler, Uwe Holtrich, Manfred Kaufmann, Achim Rody

28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Multidrug resistance (MDR) has been linked to sphingolipid metabolism and preclinical data ascribe glucosylceramide synthase (GCS) a major role for MDR especially in breast cancer cells but no profound data are available on the expression of this potential therapeutic target in clinical breast cancer specimens. Methods: We analyzed microarray data of GCS expression in a large cohort of 1,681 breast tumors. Results: Expression of GCS was associated with a positive estrogen receptor (ER) status, lower histological grading, low Ki67 levels and ErbB2 negativity (P < 0.001 for all). In univariate analysis there was a benefit for disease free survival for patients with tumors displaying low levels of GCS expression but this significance was lost in multivariate Cox regression. Conclusions: Our results suggest ER positive tumors may be the most promising candidates for a potential therapeutic application of GCS inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.2009


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