The role of survivin in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of breast cancer
Survivin is a cancer gene that is silenced in differentiated tissues, while overexpressed at high levels in vast majority of tumors. It has garnered great interests in recent years. Some essential properties characterizing it as an ideal target involve inhibiting apoptosis, promoting mitosis, stimulating vessel growth thus inducing chemo-resistance. These functions touch the full gamut of tumorigenesis, including proliferation, migration, and invasion, and collectively facilitate malignant behavior. In the case of breast cancer, survivin detection independent or combined in serum and/or urine has emerged as a measure for diagnosis. Moreover, many studies indicated aberrant expression of survivin is associated with poor prognosis and drug/radiation resistance. Strategies targeting survivin to treat breast cancer have got promising initial results. In this review, we summarize its role in breast cancer’s diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, with the intention to explain why this interesting molecule plays a conflicting role.