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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1995;29(2): 136-144.
A Study of the Correlation between Expression of c-erbB-2 Oncoprotein and Various Clinicopathological Prognostic Factors in Breast Carcinoma.
Jong Hee Nam, Kyung Soo Kim, Chang Soo Park, Sang Woo Juhng
Department of Pathology, Chonnam University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.
ABSTRACT
Immunohistochemical study for c-erbB-2 oncoprotein was performed on paraffin sections of 76 primary breast carcinomas to determine the relationship between expression of c-erbB-2 and various clinicopathological prognostic indicators, including the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Positive reaction for c-erbB-2 oncoprotein revealed an intense red granular staining predominantly located at the tumor cell membrane, with some cells exhibiting a weak cytoplasmic staining as well. The epithelial cells of the normal lobule and duct showed a negative reaction. Positive reaction for EGFR revealed a granular staining in the cytoplasm and the cell membrane of the tumor cells. Some tumors showed a positive EGFR staining in the epithelial cells of normal duct and lobule. Twenty six of 76 cases (34.2%) of primary breast carcinomas revealed a positive reaction for c-erbB-2 oncoprotein, and 28 cases (36.8%) were positive for EGFR. Expression of c-erbB-2 oncoprotein and EGFR was evident in 37.7% and 40.6% of 69 classic invasive ductal carcinomas, respectively. None of the other histological types showed a positive reaction. Expression of c-erbB-2 oncoprotein was strongly associated with tumor size(p=0.0015), histologic grade(.p=0.0175), vascular invasion(p=0.0043), and lymph node metastasis(p=0.0024), but not with age at diagnosis(p=0.1836). No significant association was found between expression of c-erbB-2 oncoprotein and EGFR. Co-expression of c-erbB-2 oncoprotein and EGFR was also strongly associated with tumor size (p=0.0029). These results suggest that c-erbB-2 oncoprotein is biologically distinct from EGFR, and may be used as a prognostic indicator of breast carcinoma due to its strong association with various clinicopathological prognostic factors.
Key Words: Breast carcinoma; c-erbB-2 oncoprotein