Expression of differentiation antigens within human mammary tumours is related to response to endocrine therapy and survival.
AuthorsBaildam, Andrew D
Barnes, Diana M
Sellwood, R A
AffiliationDepartment of Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractHuman mammary tumours which are histologically well differentiated are more likely to synthesize receptors for estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) and to respond to systemic endocrine therapy. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between differentiation, receptors and endocrine responsiveness in more detail by relating the expression of putative differentiation antigens within tumours to ER, PR and response to treatment. Sections of the primary tumours of 160 patients with advanced evaluable breast cancer were immunostained with 2 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) (HMFG1 and HMFG2) raised against putative differentiation antigens found on the membranes which surround the milk fat globule. Tumours were highly heterogeneous with respect to antigen expression. However, the number of cells which expressed the antigens was highly correlated with ER and PR concentrations and with response to endocrine therapy. In tumours where greater than or equal to 20% of cells expressed the antigen recognized by HMFG1, 73% responded to endocrine therapy; this was similar to the response predicted by ER (67%) and PR (73%). Expression of HMFG1 was correlated with survival from the start of endocrine therapy (p less than 0.0001) to the same degree as ER and PR. Patients with tumours which expressed ER, PR and HMFG1 had the highest response rate (87%) and survival (median 49 months); the response in tumours which expressed none of these phenotypes was 13% and the median survival of these patients was 9 months. These results suggest that cells which express differentiation antigens also express ER and PR. Differentiated cells within mammary tumours may therefore be the target cells for systemic hormone, and also the source of factors which control tumour growth.
CitationExpression of differentiation antigens within human mammary tumours is related to response to endocrine therapy and survival. 1988, 42 (2):154-8 Int J Cancer
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
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