Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 3780–3787 | Cite as

Elevated Interleukin-13 Receptor Alpha 1 Expression in Tumor Cells Is Associated with Poor Prognosis in Patients with Invasive Breast Cancer

  • Min Hui Park
  • Hee Jung Kwon
  • Jae-Ryong Kim
  • Byungheon Lee
  • Soo Jung Lee
  • Young Kyung Bae
Translational Research and Biomarkers



Interleukin (IL)-13 is an immunoregulatory, anti-inflammatory cytokine that is produced by numerous immune cells, and plasma membrane receptor for IL-13 (IL-13R) is known to be expressed in various human malignancies and in immune cells.


The authors evaluated the expression of IL-13R alpha 1 (IL-13Rα1, an IL-13R subtype) by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays of 1213 invasive breast cancer (IBC) samples to determine the prognostic value of IL-13Rα1 expression.


High IL-13Rα1 expression was observed in 619 (51%) cases and was found to be associated with an older (≥50 years) age (p = 0.022), lymph node metastasis (p = 0.015), ductal and micropapillary histologic subtypes (p < 0.001), lymphovascular invasion (p = 0.012), HER2 positivity (p < 0.001), and a high (>20%) Ki-67 index (p = 0.039). No significant correlation was found between IL-13Rα1 expression and clinicopathological variables, including tumor size, histological grade, hormone receptor expressions, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte levels. Patients with high IL-13Rα1 expression showed poorer overall survival (p = 0.044) and disease-free survival (DFS, p = 0.001) than those with low/negative expression. Subgroup analysis revealed an association between IL-13Rα1 expression and survival for HER2-negative, but not for HER2-positive tumors. Multivariate analysis showed high IL-13Rα1 expression was an independent negative prognostic factor of DFS (p = 0.019).


The results of this study suggest the IL-13 and IL-13Rα1 interaction promotes cancer cell growth and metastasis, and IL-13Rα1 expression is a potential prognostic marker in IBC.



This study was supported by the Medical Research Center Program (2015R1A5A2009124) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (Y.K.B. and J.-R.K.) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (2014R1A5A2009242) (B.L.).


The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Min Hui Park
    • 1
  • Hee Jung Kwon
    • 1
  • Jae-Ryong Kim
    • 2
  • Byungheon Lee
    • 3
  • Soo Jung Lee
    • 4
  • Young Kyung Bae
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyYeungnam University College of MedicineDaeguSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Smart-Aging Convergence Research Center, College of MedicineYeungnam UniversityDaeguSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, School of MedicineKyungpook National UniversityDaeguSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryYeungnam University College of MedicineDaeguSouth Korea

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