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Vattai, Aurelia; Akyol, Elif; Kuhn, Christina; Hofmann, Simone; Heidegger, Helene; Koch, Franz von; Hermelink, Kerstin; Würstlein, Rachel; Harbeck, Nadia; Mayr, Doris; Spitzweg, Christine; Toth, Bettina; Mahner, Sven; Jeschke, Udo; Ditsch, Nina (2017): Increased trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) expression is associated with a positive survival rate in patients with breast cancer. In: Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, Vol. 143, No. 9: pp. 1637-1647
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Purpose A correlation between breast cancer and thyroid disorders has been described in previous studies. Degraded thyroid hormones are referred to as trace amines. These endogenous amines have the ability to bind to the G-protein-coupled receptor TAAR1 (trace amine-associated receptor) and thereby activate it. TAAR1 is able to modulate the serotonergic and dopaminergic system in the brain and has so far been studied in the neurological field. The following study represents the first investigation of the regulation of TAAR1 in primary breast cancer (no metastases, M0). Methods Immunohistochemical analyses were carried out to detect TAAR1 expression in formalin fixed paraffin embedded breast cancer samples. Survival times of primary breast cancer patients (M0) with and without TAAR1 expression in their tumours were compared by Kaplan-Meier curves, and correlations between ordinal variables were determined with Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. Results The investigation showed a correlation between TAAR1 expression and tumour differentiation grade. A well differentiated tumour grade (G1) was associated with higher TAAR1 expression and HER2 and HER4 positivity predicted higher TAAR1 expression. A TAAR1 overexpression (IRS >= 6) was associated with significantly longer overall survival (OS) (p = 0.02) than that of reduced TAAR1 expression (IRS < 6) during a maximum follow-up of 14 years, demonstrating that TAAR1 has a favourable effect on OS of early breast cancer patients. Conclusions We conclude that TAAR1 seems to be an independent predictor for breast cancer survival. Modulation of TAAR1 may represent a novel targeting strategy for breast cancer prevention and therapy.