TIEG mRNA and Proteins as Accurate Predictive Markers in Human Breast Cancers

Working with Dr. M. Subramaniam and Kay Rasmussen, funded by the MAZZA Foundation of Chicago, in collaboration with Dr. Jim Ingle in the Department of Oncology, we have found that the TIEG mRNA levels (measured by real time PCR) inversely correlate with the transformation of normal breast cells to cancer cells, as well as with the stage, metastatic potential, and breast cancer patient outcome. Specifically, the mRNA levels of TIEG and its target genes (Bard-1 and Smad-2) were significantly lower in invasive cancers compared to normal. The TIEG mRNA levels most accurately discriminated between normal and primary tumors with the maximum sensitivity and specificity of 96% and 93% respectively. TIEG, in combination with Smad-2 gene expression distinguished between node-positive and node-negative primary tumors, including node-negative bad outcome and node-negative good outcome for the patients with reoccurrence within five years.