Chromosome 17 copy number changes in male breast cancer

Miangela M. Lacle, Cathy B. Moelans, Robert Kornegoor, Carmen van der Pol, Arjen J. Witkamp, Elsken van der Wall, Josef Rueschoff, Horst Buerger, Paul J. van Diest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Overall, HER2-amplified female breast cancer (FBC) is associated with a high grade, an aggressive phenotype and a poor prognosis. In male breast cancer (MBC) amplification of HER2, located on chromosome 17, occurs at a lower frequency than in FBC, where it is part of complex rearrangements. So far, only few studies have addressed the occurrence of chromosome 17 alterations in small MBC cohorts. Methods: Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were used to detect and characterize copy number changes on chromosome 17 in a cohort of 139 MBC. The results obtained were compared to those in FBC, and were correlated with clinicopathological features and patient outcome data. Results: We observed a lower frequency of chromosome 17 copy number changes with less complex rearrangement patterns in MBC compared to FBC. Chromosome 17 changes in MBC included gains of 17q and losses of 17p. Whole chromosome 17 polyploidies were not encountered. Two recurrent chromosome 17 amplicons were detected: on 17q12 (encompassing the NEUROD2, HER2, GRB7 and IKZF3 gens) and on 17q23.1 (encompassing the MIR21 and RPS6KB1 genes). Whole arm copy number gains of 17q were associated with decreased 5 year survival rates (p = 0.010). Amplification of HER2 was associated with a high tumor grade, but did not predict patient survival. Although copy number gains of HER2 and NEUROD2 were associated with a high tumor grade, a high mitotic count and a decreased 5 year survival rate (p = 0.015), only tumor size and NEUROD2 copy number gains emerged as independent prognostic factors. Conclusions: In MBC chromosome 17 shows less complex rearrangements and fewer copy number changes compared to FBC. Frequent gains of 17q, encompassing two distinct amplicons, and losses of 17p were observed, but no whole chromosome 17 polyploidies. Only NEUROD2 gains seem to have an independent prognostic impact. These results suggest different roles of chromosome 17 aberrations in male versus female breast carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalCellular Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 29 2015



  • Copy number changes
  • Male breast cancer
  • Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification
  • Oncogenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Lacle, M. M., Moelans, C. B., Kornegoor, R., van der Pol, C., Witkamp, A. J., van der Wall, E., Rueschoff, J., Buerger, H., & van Diest, P. J. (2015). Chromosome 17 copy number changes in male breast cancer. Cellular Oncology, 38(3), 237-245.