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A flow cytometric study of c-erbB-3 expression in breast cancer

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ian Brotherick, Dr Brian Shenton, Dr Brian Angus, Ian Waite, Professor Thomas Lennard


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In order to assess the specificity of biotinylated anti-c-erbB-3 antibody, screening was performed on a series of tumour cell lines and lymphocytes. Staining was found to be consistent, with good reproducibility. Twenty-nine consecutive breast cancer samples were obtained from women treated with tamoxifen and undergoing elective mastectomy. Twenty-eight invasive ductal carcinomas and 1 DCIS were stained for c-erbB-3 expression: 2 were grade I (Bloom and Richardson), 15 grade II, and 11 grade III tumours, 1 being unclassified; 16 were axillary node positive and 10 node negative; in 2 cases no nodes were sampled. Tumours examined by flow cytometry were stained with cytokeratin FITC antibody and the cytokeratin-positive population gated. Using Mann-Whitney analysis no association was seen between c-erbB-3 expression and Bloom and Richardson grade or axillary node status. In the tumour samples c-erbB-3 expression was found to show an association with EGF-R (P = 0.021 r(2) = 0.16), PgR (P = 0.02, r(2) = 0.16), c-myc (P <0.0001, P = 0.5), c-jun (P = 0.001, r(2) = 0.4) and c-fos (P = 0.001, r(2) = 0.5) but not with c-erbB-2 (P = 0.2, r(2) = 0.06), ER (P = 0.4, r(2) = 0.02) or p53 1801 (P = 0.05, r(2) = 0.2). Expression of c-erbB-3 may not be an independent marker of prognosis, but it is associated with other markers of poor prognosis and early cellular events linked with aberrant growth and differentiation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brotherick I, Shenton BK, Angus B, Waite IS, Horne CHW, Lennard TWJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

Year: 1995

Volume: 41

Issue: 5

Pages: 280-286

Print publication date: 01/11/1995

ISSN (print): 0340-7004

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0851


DOI: 10.1007/BF01517215


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