Background: Mammaglobin mRNA expression is found in 70-80 % of primary and metastatic breast tumor biopsies. The potential breast tumor markers B305D, B726P and GABAπ complement the expression of mammaglobin. Collectively the expression profile of these four genes could be utilized as a diagnostic and prognostic indicator for breast cancer.
Methods: A multigene RT-PCR assay was established to detect the expression of mammaglobin, GABAπ, B305D and B726P simultaneously. Specific primers and Taqman® probes were used to analyze combined mRNA expression profiles in primary breast tumors and metastatic lymph node specimens.
Results: The multigene RT-PCR assay detected significant expression signals in 27/27 primary and in 50/50 lymph-node-metastatic breast tumor samples. Specificity studies demonstrated no significant expression signal in 27 non-breast cancer lymph nodes, in 22 various normal tissues or in 14 colon tumor samples.
Conclusion: The novel RT-PCR-based assay described here provides a sensitive detection system for disseminated breast tumor cells in lymph nodes. In addition, this multigene assay could also be used to test peripheral blood and bone marrow samples.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women. Tumors of unknown origin account for 5-15% of malignant neoplasms, with 1.5% being breast cancer. An immunohistochemical panel with conventional and newer markers, such as mammaglobin, was selected for the detection of neoplastic cells of breast origin. The specific objectives are: 1) to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the panel, with a special emphasis on the inclusion of the mammaglobin marker, and 2) to compare immunohistochemistry performed on whole tissue sections and on Tissue Micro-Array.
Twenty-nine metastatic breast tumors were included and assumed as tumors of unknown origin. Other 48 biopsies of diverse tissues were selected and assumed as negative controls. Tissue Micro-Array was performed. Immunohistochemistry for mammaglobin, gross cystic disease fluid protein-15, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and cytokeratin 7 was done.
Mammaglobin positive staining was observed in 10/29 cases, in 13/29 cases for gross cystic disease fluid protein-15, in 20/29 cases for estrogen receptor, in 9/29 cases for progesterone receptor, and in 25/29 cases for cytokeratin 7. Among the negative controls, mammaglobin was positive in 2/48, and gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 in 4/48.
The inclusion of MAG antibody in the immunohistochemical panel for the detection of tumors of unknown origin contributed to the detection of metastasis of breast cancer. The diagnostic strategy with the highest positive predictive value (88%) included hormone receptors and mammaglobin in serial manner.
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1366310812718988
Tumors of unknown origin; Breast; Mammaglobin; Immunohistochemistry
Immunomagnetic enrichment followed by RT-PCR (immunobead RT-PCR) is an efficient methodology to identify disseminated carcinoma cells in the blood and bone marrow. The RT-PCR assays must be both specific for the tumor cells and sufficiently sensitive to enable detection of single tumor cells. We have developed a method to test RT-PCR assays for any cancer. This has been investigated using a panel of RT-PCR markers suitable for the detection of breast cancer cells.
In the assay, a single cell line-derived tumor cell is added to 100 peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) after which mRNA is isolated and reverse transcribed for RT-PCR analysis. PBMNCs without added tumor cells are used as specificity controls. The previously studied markers epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), mammaglobin 1 (MGB1), epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM/TACSTD1), mucin 1 (MUC1), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) were tested. Two new epithelial-specific markers ELF3 and EphB4 were also tested.
MUC1 was unsuitable as strong amplification was detected in 100 cell PBMNC controls. Expression of ELF3, EphB4, EpCAM, EGFR, CEA and MGB1 was found to be both specific for the tumor cell, as demonstrated by the absence of a signal in most 100 cell PBMNC controls, and sensitive enough to detect a single tumor cell in 100 PBMNCs using a single round of RT-PCR.
ELF3, EphB4, EpCAM, EGFR, CEA and MGB1 are appropriate RT-PCR markers for use in a marker panel to detect disseminated breast cancer cells after immunomagnetic enrichment.
The detection, enumeration and isolation of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) have considerable potential to influence the clinical management of patients with breast cancer. There is, however, substantial variability in the rates of positive samples using existing detection techniques. The lack of standardisation of technology hampers the implementation of CTC measurement in clinical routine practice.
This study was designed to directly compare three techniques for detecting CTCs in blood samples taken from 76 patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and from 20 healthy controls: the CellSearch CTC System, the AdnaTest Breast Cancer Select/Detect and a previously developed real-time qRT-PCR assay for the detection of CK-19 and mammaglobin transcripts.
As a result, 36% of patients with MBC were positive by the CellSearch System, 22% by the AdnaTest, 26% using RT–PCR for CK-19 and 54% using RT–PCR for mammaglobin. Samples were significantly more likely to be positive for at least one mRNA marker using RT–PCR than using the CellSearch System (P=0.001) or the AdnaTest (P<0.001).
We observed a substantial variation in the detection rates of CTCs in blood from breast cancer patients using three different techniques. A higher rate of positive samples was observed using a combined qRT-PCR approach for CK-19 and mammaglobin, which suggests that this is currently the most sensitive technique for detecting CTCs.
circulating tumour cells; breast cancer; CellSearch System; RT–PCR; AdnaTest
This study compares the sensitivities and specificities of three techniques for the detection of circulating epithelial cells in the blood of patients with breast cancer. The number of circulating epithelial cells present in the blood of 40 patients with metastatic breast cancer and 20 healthy volunteers was determined by: immunomagnetic separation (IMS) and laser scanning cytometry (LSC), cell filtration and LSC and a multimarker real-time RT–PCR assay. Numbers of cytokeratin-positive cells identified and expression of three PCR markers were significantly higher in the blood of patients with breast cancer than in healthy volunteers. Using the upper 95% confidence interval of cells detected in controls to determine positive patient samples: 30% of patients with metastatic breast cancer were positive following cell filtration, 48% following IMS, and 60, 45 and 35% using real-time RT–PCR for cytokeratin 19, mammaglobin and prolactin-inducible peptide. Samples were significantly more likely to be positive for at least one PCR marker than by cell filtration (83 vs 30%, P<0.001) or IMS (83 vs 48%, P<0.001).The use of a multimarker real-time RT–PCR assay was therefore found to be the most sensitive technique for the detection of circulating epithelial cells in the blood of patients with breast cancer.
breast cancer; micrometastases; circulating tumour cells
The presence of metastases in lymph nodes is the most powerful prognostic factor in breast cancer patients. Routine histological examination of lymph nodes has limited sensitivity for the detection of breast cancer metastases. The aim of the present study was to develop a multimarker reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT—PCR) assay for the detection of minimal residual disease in sentinel nodes of breast cancer patients. RNA was extracted from 30 sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) obtained from 28 patients, three primary breast cancers (positive controls), three lymph nodes from patients with benign diseases, and peripheral blood lymphocytes of 10 healthy volunteers (negative controls). RT–PCR was performed using the following markers; cytokeratin (CK)-19, NY-BR-1 and mammaglobin B. RT–PCR results were compared to enhanced histopathologic examination and immunohistochemistry (IHC). All three positive controls showed strong PCR amplification for all three markers. None of the 13 negative controls was amplified by any of the three markers. Among the 30 SLN analysed, breast cancer metastases were detected in six SLNs by routine histology, in eight by IHC and in 15 by RT–PCR. We conclude that a multimarker RT–PCR assay probing for NY-BR-1, mammaglobin-B, and CK-19 is more sensitive compared to enhanced pathologic examination. This method may prove to be of value in breast cancer staging and prognosis evaluation.
RT–PCR; breast neoplasms; micrometastases; mammaglobin; NY-BR-1
The diagnostic tools to predict the prognosis in patients suffering from breast cancer (BC) need further improvements. New technological achievements like the gene profiling of circulating tumour cells (CTC) could help identify new prognostic markers in the clinical setting. Furthermore, gene expression patterns of CTC might provide important informations on the mechanisms of tumour cell metastasation.
Materials and methods
We performed realtime-PCR and multiplex-PCR analyses following immunomagnetic separation of CTC. Peripheral blood (PB) samples of 63 patients with breast cancer of various stages were analyzed and compared to a control group of 14 healthy individuals. After reverse-transcription, we performed multiplex PCR using primers for the genes ga733.3, muc-1 and c-erbB2. Mammaglobin1, spdef and c-erbB2 were analyzed applying realtime-PCR.
ga733.2 overexpression was found in 12.7% of breast cancer cases, muc-1 in 15.9%, mgb1 in 9.1% and spdef in 12.1%. In this study, c-erbB2 did not show any significant correlation to BC, possibly due to a highly ambient expression. Besides single gene analyses, gene profiles were additionally evaluated. Highly significant correlations to BC were found in single gene analyses of ga733.2 and muc-1 and in gene profile analyses of ga733.3*muc-1 and GA7 ga733.3*muc-1*mgb1*spdef.
Our study reveals that the single genes ga733.3, muc-1 and the gene profiles ga733.3*muc-1 and ga733.3*3muc-1*mgb1*spdef can serve as markers for the detection of CTC in BC. The multigene analyses found highly positive levels in BC patients. Our study indicates that not single gene analyses but subtle patterns of multiple genes lead to rising accuracy and low loss of specificity in detection of breast cancer cases.
Mamma carcinoma; pcr; gene profile
In cancer patients, the ability to detect disseminated tumour cells in peripheral blood or bone marrow could improve prognosis and consent both early detection of metastatic disease and monitoring of the efficacy of systemic therapy. These objectives remain elusive mainly due to the lack of specific genetic markers for solid tumours. The use of surrogate tissue-specific markers can reduce the specificity of the assays and give rise to a clinically unacceptable false-positive rate. Mammaglobin (MAM) and maspin are two putative breast tissue-specific markers frequently used for detection of occult tumour cells in the peripheral blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes of breast cancer patients. In this study, it was evaluated whether MAM and maspin gene expression may be induced in the normal blood and bone marrow cells exposed to a panel of cytokines, including chemotactic factors (C5a, interleukin (IL)-8), LPS, proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β) and growth factors (IL-3, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor). The experimental data show that all cytokines included in the panel, except for IL-8, were able to induce maspin expression; on the contrary, MAM gene was never induced. These results suggest that MAM is more specific than maspin and that the possible interference of cytokines should be taken into account in interpreting molecular assays for detection of isolated tumour cells.
mammaglobin; maspin; breast cancer; micrometastasis
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been associated with prognosis especially in breast cancer and have been proposed as a liquid biopsy for repeated follow up examinations. Molecular characterization of CTCs is difficult to address since they are very rare and the amount of available sample is very limited.
We quantified by RT-qPCR CK-19, MAGE-A3, HER-2, TWIST1, hTERT α+β+, and mammaglobin gene transcripts in immunomagnetically positively selected CTCs from 92 breast cancer patients, and 28 healthy individuals. We also compared our results with the CellSearch system in 33 of these patients with early breast cancer.
RT-qPCR is highly sensitive and specific and can detect the expression of each individual gene at the one cell level. None of the genes tested was detected in the group of healthy donors. In 66 operable breast cancer patients, CK-19 was detected in 42.4%, HER-2 in 13.6%, MAGE-A3 in 21.2%, hMAM in 13.6%, TWIST-1 in 42.4%, and hTERT α+β+ in 10.2%. In 26 patients with verified metastasis, CK-19 was detected in 53.8%, HER-2 in 19.2%, MAGE-A3 in 15.4%, hMAM in 30.8%, TWIST-1 in 38.5% and hTERT α+β+in 19.2%. Our preliminary data on the comparison between RT-qPCR and CellSearch in 33 early breast cancer patients showed that RT-qPCR gives more positive results in respect to CellSearch.
Molecular characterization of CTCs has revealed a remarkable heterogeneity of gene expression between breast cancer patients. In a small percentage of patients, CTCs were positive for all six genes tested, while in some patients only one of these genes was expressed. The clinical significance of these findings in early breast cancer remains to be elucidated when the clinical outcome for these patients is known.
To investigate the prognostic significance of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in bone marrow (BM) from non-metastatic breast cancer patients before and after surgery.
Patients with non-metastatic breast cancer were consecutively recruited to this project during the years 1998–2000. Real-time RT-PCR quantification of a DTC multimarker panel consisting of cytokeratin 19, mammaglobin A and TWIST1 mRNA was performed in BM samples obtained from 154 patients three weeks (BM2) and/or six months after surgery (BM3). The results were compared to previously published data from pre-operative BM analyses for the same patients.
DTCs were identified in post-operative BM samples (BM2 and/or BM3) from 23 (15%) of the 154 patients investigated. During a median follow-up of 98 months, 10 (44%) of these patients experienced systemic relapse as compared to 16 (12%) of 131 DTC-negative patients. Kaplan-Meier estimates of systemic recurrence-free- and breast-cancer specific survival demonstrated significantly shorter survival for patients with persistent DTCs in BM after surgery (p≤0.001). By multivariate Cox regression analyses, persistent DTCs after surgery was an independent predictor of both systemic recurrence-free- (HR = 5.4, p < 0.001) and breast-cancer specific survival (HR = 5.3, p < 0.001). Furthermore, the prognostic value of DTCs in BM was similar for pre- and post surgery samples. However, patients with DTCs both before and after surgery (BM1 and BM2/3) had a particularly poor prognosis (systemic recurrence-free survival: HR = 7.2, p < 0.0001 and breast-cancer specific survival: HR = 8.0, p < 0.0001).
Detection of persistent DTCs in BM samples obtained after surgery identified non-metastatic breast cancer patients at high risk for systemic relapse, and with reduced breast-cancer specific survival. Furthermore, patients with positive DTC status both before and after surgery had a particularly poor prognosis.
Breast cancer; Minimal residual disease; Multimarker real-time PCR; Bone marrow; DTC; prognosis
A biomarker is a quantifiable laboratory measure of a disease specific biologically relevant molecule that can act as an indicator of a current or future disease state. The purpose of this study is to detect the expression of RNA biomarkers using Cytokeratin 19 (CK-19), Mammaglobin (MAM), Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), Mucin (MUC), C-Myc, erb-B2, a proliferation marker (Ki-67), Epidermal growth factor receptor (Her2/neu) and Estrogen receptor (ER) in Iranian women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. In this study, 90 samples; 60 cancer patients and 30 healthy controls were considered. 73.4 % patients were in stage I/II and 26.6 % were in stage III/IV. Patients were selected prior to the administration of any adjuvant systemic therapy. Total RNA extraction was obtained from peripheral blood of each patient and healthy control. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was used for detection of mRNA of the selected biomarkers of circulating breast cancer cells in blood. Molecular characterization is assessed as a method for early detection of breast cancer. For this purpose, eleven specific primers were selected and RT-PCR was used. The data of RT-PCR revealed that expression of MUC1, CK19, CEA, MAM, erbB-2, Ki67 and C-Myc biomarkers were significantly different between breast cancer patients and healthy controls. On the other hand, ERα, ERβ and Her2 markers were not significantly different between the two mentioned groups. Biomarkers detection of breast cancer patients could be assessed as a diagnostic factor and its potential for conveying as a prognostic factor require further studies, with a larger number of patients.
Breast cancer; CEA; CK19; C-Myc; ER; erbB-2; Her2; Ki67; MAM; MUC1
Identification of metastasis and occult micrometastases of breast cancer demands sensitive and specific diagnostic markers. In this study, we assessed the utility of a mouse monoclonal antibody to human mammaglobin for one such purpose. Immunohistochemical stains were performed on paraffin-embedded sections from a total of 284 cases, which consisted of primary breast invasive carcinomas (41 cases) with matched metastases to ipsilateral axillary lymph nodes, metastatic breast carcinoma to liver (1 case) and kidney (1 case), non-breast neoplasms (161 cases), and normal human tissues (39 cases). The results showed 31 of the 41 cases of primary breast cancer with axillary lymph node metastases were positive for mammaglobin (76%). In the meantime, we documented expression of mammaglobin in occasional cases of endometrial carcinoma (17%). Our data further validated that mammaglobin is a valuable diagnostic marker for metastatic carcinoma of breast origin, although endometrial carcinoma should be considered as a major differential diagnosis.
Mammaglobin; breast cancer; metastasis; immunohistochemistry
Mammaglobin (MAM) has been used as a specific molecular marker for breast cancer diagnosis. Recently, several groups of researchers proposed a number of therapeutic strategies targeting this molecule. Some of the strategies are based upon an essential but not demonstrated hypothesis – mammaglobin is associated with the surface of breast cancer cells, which strongly disputes the therapeutic strategies.
We conducted a computer-based predictive analysis and identified a small fragment at the N-end of MAM as a potential transmembrane domain. We provided several evidences to demonstrate the presence of the membrane-associated MAM. We isolated the membrane protein components from known MAM positive breast cancer cells (MDA-MB361 and MDA-MB415). We showed that about 22–64% of MAM proteins, depending upon the types of the cancer cells, directly attached on the membrane of breast cancer cells, by Western blotting assays. To directly visualize the presence of the membrane-bound MAM protein, we incubated the MAM positive cancer cells with FITC labeled anti-MAM antibody, and observed clear fluorescent signals on the surface of the cells. In studying the MAM protein distribution in human breast cancer tissues, we first identified two immunostain patterns that are associated with the membrane-bound MAM: the membrane stain pattern and luminary surface stain pattern. To test whether the membrane-associated MAM can serve as a molecular target for drug delivery, we conjugated anti-MAM antibody to human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and loaded doxorubicin (Dox) in the core of LDL. Specific binding and cytotoxicity of the MAM targeted and Dox loaded LDL was tested in the MAM positive breast cancer cells in vitro.
We first showed that some of MAM protein directly associated with the surface of breast cancer cells. The membrane-associated MAM protein may be utilized as a useful molecular marker for breast cancer targeted drug delivery.
Mammaglobin (h-MAM) is expressed mainly by breast epithelial cells, and this feature has been used to detect circulating breast cancer cells and occult metastases in sentinel axillary lymph nodes of breast cancer patients. However, the biological role of mammaglobin is completely unknown.
We studied 128 fresh-frozen breast cancer specimens by means of reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction and quantified their h-MAM mRNA expression. This was then correlated with histological and nuclear grade, oestrogen and progesterone receptor expression, c-erb-B2 and mutant p53 expression, as well as with cellular proliferation measured by means of the Ki67 labelling index, DNA ploidy and S-phase, and finally with the presence or not of invaded axillary nodes in the mastectomy specimen.
In the univariate analysis, high h-MAM expression (above the median for the whole group) correlated significantly (P < 0.05) with oestrogen and progesterone receptor expression, diploid DNA content, low Ki67 labelling index, low nuclear grade and almost significantly (P = 0.058) with the absence of axillary nodal invasion in the mastectomy specimen. In a final, multivariate model, only progesterone receptor expression, diploid DNA content and absence of nodal invasion were found to be independently associated with high h-MAM expression.
All of the features associated with mammaglobin expression reflect, without exception, a less aggressive tumour phenotype. Further studies are needed to clarify whether this is attributable to h-MAM expression itself, or to another mechanism of which mammaglobin expression forms part.
breast; cancer; mammaglobin; reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
Mammaglobin A (SCGB2A2) and lipophilin B (SCGB1D2), two members of the secretoglobin superfamily, are known to be co-expressed in breast cancer, where their proteins form a covalent complex. Based on the relatively high tissue-specific expression pattern, it has been proposed that the mammaglobin A protein and/or its complex with lipophilin B could be used in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. In view of these clinical implications, the aim of the present study was to analyze the expression of both genes in a large panel of human solid tumors (n = 309), corresponding normal tissues (n = 309) and cell lines (n = 11), in order to evaluate their tissue specific expression and co-expression pattern.
For gene and protein expression analyses, northern blot, dot blot hybridization of matched tumor/normal arrays (cancer profiling arrays), quantitative RT-PCR, non-radioisotopic RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were used.
Cancer profiling array data demonstrated that mammaglobin A and lipophilin B expression is not restricted to normal and malignant breast tissue. Both genes were abundantly expressed in tumors of the female genital tract, i.e. endometrial, ovarian and cervical cancer. In these four tissues the expression pattern of mammaglobin A and lipophilin B was highly concordant, with both genes being down-, up- or not regulated in the same tissue samples. In breast tissue, mammaglobin A expression was down-regulated in 49% and up-regulated in 12% of breast tumor specimens compared with matching normal tissues, while lipophilin B was down-regulated in 59% and up-regulated in 3% of cases. In endometrial tissue, expression of mammaglobin A and lipophilin B was clearly up-regulated in tumors (47% and 49% respectively). Both genes exhibited down-regulation in 22% of endometrial tumors. The only exceptions to this concordance of mammaglobin A/lipophilin B expression were normal and malignant tissues of prostate and kidney, where only lipophilin B was abundantly expressed and mammaglobin A was entirely absent. RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry confirmed expression of mammaglobin A on a cellular level in endometrial and cervical cancer and their corresponding normal tissues.
Altogether, these data suggest that expression of mammaglobin A and lipophilin B might be controlled in different tissues by the same regulatory transcriptional mechanisms. Diagnostic assays based on mammaglobin A expression and/or the mammaglobin A/lipophilin B complex appear to be less specific for breast cancer, but with a broader spectrum of potential applications, which includes gynecologic malignancies.
The aim of the present study was to detect the expression of human mammaglobin (hMAM) mRNA in the bone marrow (BM) of patients with breast cancer and determine the relationship between micrometastasis and clinicopathological parameters as well as selected molecular markers and breast cancer prognosis. The expression of hMAM mRNA in the BM of patients with breast cancer was determined by RT-PCR. The expression of ER, PR and Cath-D in cancer tissues was detected by immunohistochemistry. A positive expression rate for hMAM of 38.2% in 102 patients with stage I–III breast cancer was found. The expression of hMAM was higher in patients with T2–3 (>2 cm) tumors than in those with T1 tumors (≤2 cm) (χ2=19.20, P=0.001) and in patients with stage II or III tumors than in patients with stage I tumors (χ2=15.101, P=0.001). The expression of hMAM in the BM of breast cancer patients categorized as grade 1 was lower than that in those of grade 2 or 3 (χ2=8.522, P=0.014), and hMAM expression was related to the pathological type of tumor (χ2=6.892, P=0.032) and the degree of axillary lymph node metastasis (χ2=14.050, P=0.001). The expression of hMAM in BM was much higher in patients with ER(−) or ER(+) tumors than in those with ER(++ or +++) (χ2=11.800, P=0.003), and those with PR (χ2=8.759, P=0.013). hMAM expression in BM was also significantly positively correlated with Cath-D expression (χ2=6.623, P=0.036). However, no correlation was found between hMAM expression and patient age (χ2=1.056, P=0.304). There was a strong correlation between patients with positive expression of hMAM in the BM and the presence of distant metastases (P=0.009). In conclusion, micrometastasis in the BM correlates with certain clinical pathological parameters and several tumor markers. Patients with positive expression of hMAM in the BM have a greater chance of distant metastasis and poor prognosis. The detection of micrometastasis may be one of the most advantageous markers for predicting the prognosis of breast cancer.
breast cancer; bone marrow micrometastasis; human mammaglobin; biological factor; RT-PCR; immunohistochemistry; prognosis
Adoptive T cell therapy has proven to be beneficial in a number of tumor systems by targeting the relevant tumor antigen. The tumor antigen targeted in our model is Mammaglobin-A, expressed by approximately 80% of human breast tumors. Here we evaluated the use of adoptively transferred Mammaglobin-A specific CD8 T cells in combination with low dose irradiation to induce breast tumor rejection and prevent relapse. We show Mammaglobin-A specific CD8 T cells generated by DNA vaccination with all epitopes (Mammaglobin-A2.1, A2.2, A2.4 and A2.6) and full-length DNA in vivo resulted in heterogeneous T cell populations consisting of both effector and central memory CD8 T cell subsets. Adoptive transfer of spleen cells from all Mammaglobin-A2 immunized mice into tumor-bearing SCID/beige mice induced tumor regression but this anti-tumor response was not sustained long-term. Additionally, we demonstrate that only the adoptive transfer of Mammaglobin-A2 specific CD8 T cells in combination with a single low dose of irradiation prevents tumors from recurring. More importantly we show that this single dose of irradiation results in the down regulation of the macrophage scavenger receptor 1 on dendritic cells within the tumor and reduces lipid uptake by tumor resident dendritic cells potentially enabling the dendritic cells to present tumor antigen more efficiently and aid in tumor clearance. These data reveal the potential for adoptive transfer combined with a single low dose of total body irradiation as a suitable therapy for the treatment of established breast tumors and the prevention of tumor recurrence.
We hypothesized that cells bearing a single inherited “hit” in a tumor suppressor gene express an altered mRNA repertoire that may identify targets for measures that could delay or even prevent progression to carcinoma. We report here on the transcriptomes of primary breast and ovarian epithelial cells cultured from BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation-carriers and controls. Our comparison analyses identified multiple changes in gene expression, in both tissues for both mutations, that were validated independently validated by real-time RT-PCR analysis. Several of the differentially expressed genes had been previously proposed as cancer markers, including mammaglobin in breast cancer and serum amyloid in ovarian cancer. These findings demonstrate that heterozygosity for a mutant tumor suppressor gene can alter the expression profiles of phenotypically normal epithelial cells in a gene-specific manner; these detectable effects of “one-hit” represent early molecular changes in tumorigenesis that may serve as novel biomarkers of cancer risk and as targets for chemoprevention.
Breast cancer; Gynecological cancers: ovarian; BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation; Tumor suppressor gene; Single-hit mutation; Transcriptome; Biomarkers
Traditional prognostic factors in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) are inadequate in predicting recurrence and long-term prognosis, but genome-wide cancer research has recently provided multiple potentially useful biomarkers. The gene codifying for Mammaglobin B (MGB-2) has been selected from our previous microarray analysis performed on 19 serous papillary epithelial ovarian cancers and its expression has been further investigated on multiple histological subtypes, both at mRNA and protein level. Since, to date, there is no information available on the prognostic significance of MGB-2 expression in cancer, the aim of this study was to determine its prognostic potential on survival in a large cohort of well-characterized EOC patients.
MGB-2 expression was evaluated by quantitative real time-PCR in fresh-frozen tissue biopsies and was validated by immunohistochemistry in matched formalin fixed-paraffin embedded tissue samples derived from a total of 106 EOC patients and 27 controls. MGB-2 expression was then associated with the clinicopathologic features of the tumors and was correlated with clinical outcome.
MGB-2 expression was found significantly elevated in EOC compared to normal ovarian controls, both at mRNA and protein level. A good correlation was detected between MGB-2 expression data obtained by the two different techniques. MGB-2 expressing tumors were significantly associated with several clinicopathologic characteristics defining a less aggressive tumor behavior. Univariate survival analysis revealed a decreased risk for cancer-related death, recurrence and disease progression in MGB-2-expressing patients (p < 0.05). Moreover, multivariate analysis indicated that high expression levels of MGB-2 transcript (HR = 0.25, 95%, 0.08–0.75, p = 0.014) as well as positive immunostaining for the protein (HR = 0.41, 95%CI, 0.17–0.99, p = 0.048) had an independent prognostic value for disease-free survival.
This is the first report documenting that MGB-2 expression characterizes less aggressive forms of EOC and is correlated with a favorable outcome. These findings suggest that the determination of MGB-2, especially at molecular level, in EOC tissue obtained after primary surgery can provide additional prognostic information about the risk of recurrence.
A 47-year-old Korean woman with right middle lobe lung adenocarcinoma, malignant pleural effusion, and multiple lymph node and bone metastases, after three months of lung cancer diagnosis, presented with a palpable right breast mass. Images of the right breast demonstrated architectural distortion that strongly suggested primary breast cancer. Breast biopsy revealed metastatic lung cancer with a negative result for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and mammaglobin, and a positive result for thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1). We present a case of breast metastasis from a case of lung cancer with an extensive micropapillary component, which was initially misinterpreted as a primary breast cancer due to unusual image findings with architectural distortion.
Metastasis; Breast images; Lung cancer; Micropapillary carcinoma
Papillary carcinoma of the male breast is very rare. In this case report, we describe the cytologic, histologic, immunohistochemical, and radiological findings of a papillary carcinoma of male breast. A 67-yr-old man, who had a previous history of prostatic adenocarcinoma, presented with a retroareolar painless mass. There was no known history of breast cancer in his family. A fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) was performed. Cytological examination revealed a cellular aspirate with three-dimensional papillary clusters. A diagnosis of papillary lesion favoring papillary carcinoma was rendered. Immunohistochemical staining of the cell-block of the FNAB revealed the presence of mammaglobin, and the absence of prostatic specific antigen. The patient underwent lumpectomy, which showed a moderately differentiated infiltrating papillary carcinoma with adjacent areas of ductal carcinoma in situ. FNAB is a useful technique in identifying male breast carcinoma. In conjunction with ancillary studies, this procedure can effectively differentiate between a primary versus metastatic lesion.
male breast malignant tumor; papillary carcinoma; prostatic carcinoma; mammaglobin
Current biomarkers for breast cancer have little potential for detection. We determined if breast cancer subtypes influence circulating protein biomarkers.
A sandwich-ELISA microarray platform was used to evaluate 23 candidate biomarkers in plasma samples that were obtained from subjects with either benign breast disease or invasive breast cancer. All plasma samples were collected at the time of biopsy, after a referral due to a suspicious screen (e.g., mammography). Cancer samples were evaluated based on breast cancer subtypes, as defined by the HER2 and estrogen receptor statuses.
Ten proteins were statistically altered in at least one breast cancer subtype, including four epidermal growth factor receptor ligands, two matrix metalloproteases, two cytokines, and two angiogenic factors. Only one cytokine, RANTES, was significantly increased (P<0.01 for each analysis) in all four subtypes, with areas under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) that ranged from 0.76 to 0.82, depending on cancer subtype. The best AUC values were observed for analyses that combined data from multiple biomarkers, with values ranging from 0.70 to 0.99, depending on the cancer subtype. Although the results for RANTES are consistent with previous publications, the multi-assay results need to be validated in independent sample sets.
Different breast cancer subtypes produce distinct biomarker profiles, and circulating protein biomarkers have potential to differentiate between true and false positive screens for breast cancer. Impact: Subtype-specific biomarker panels may be useful for detecting breast cancer or as an adjunct assay to improve the accuracy of current screening methods.
The ataxia telangiectasia mutated gene (ATM), candidate for breast cancer susceptibility gene, encode a 350-kDa protein belongs to the core components of DNA-damage response machinery. Female AT carriers have at least 5-fold increase risk for breast cancer. Reduction in ATM expression is shown in multiple studies in breast tissues. We aimed to perform a research to measure the ATM mRNA expression in peripheral blood cells in breast cancer patients. Peripheral blood sample from 40 newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed female breast cancer patients was collected before surgery. Total RNA was isolated from blood cells using the RNX-Plus solution and reverse transcribed into cDNA. Real-time PCR was performed using the 2−ΔΔCT method to calculate relative changes in gene expression by REST software. The Relative Quantitation (RQ) mean was 1.27 with the min. and max. equal to 0.20 and 3.34, respectively. Calculation of patient frequencies in different groups revealed that 17.5% had reduced expression lower than two fold decreases and 15% high expression more than two fold increases, but according to REST software there was no up-regulation or down-regulation compared to normal females. The findings of multiple studies consistent with this study indicate that the ATM gene may play an important role in breast cancer development and progression, and ATM expression is down-regulated in breast cancer tissues. Although, some of the results do not support a suppressor role for ATM in the development of sporadic breast cancer, 17.5% of our patients had under expression of ATM mRNA less than two fold relative to control.
Blood cells; Breast neoplasms; mRNA; Polymerase chain reaction; Real-time
Several multigene expression-based tests offering prognostic and predictive information in hormone-receptor positive early breast cancer were established during the last years. These tests provide prognostic information on distant recurrences and can serve as an aid in therapy decisions. We analyzed the recently validated reverse-transcription-quantitative-real-time PCR-based multigene-expression Endopredict (EP)-test on 34 hormone-receptor positive breast-cancer cases and compared the EP scores with the Oncotype DX Recurrence-scores (RS) obtained from the same cancer samples.
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded invasive breast-cancer tissues from 34 patients were analyzed by the EP-test. Representative tumor blocks were analyzed with Oncotype DX prior to this study. Tumor tissue was removed from unstained slides, total-RNA was isolated and EP-analysis was performed blinded to Oncotype DX results.
Extraction of sufficient amounts of RNA and generation of valid EP-scores were possible for all 34 samples. EP classified 11 patients as low-risk and 23 patients as high-risk. RS Score defined 15 patients as low-risk, 10 patients as intermediate-risk in and 9 patients as high-risk. Major-discrepancy occurred in 6 of 34 cases (18%): Low-risk RS was classified as high-risk by EP in 6 cases. Combining the RS intermediate-risk and high-risk groups to a common group, the concordance between both tests was 76%. Correlation between continuous EP and RS-scores was moderate (Pearson-coefficient: 0.65 (p<0.01).
We observed a significant but moderate concordance (76%) and moderate correlation (0.65) between RS and EP Score. Differences in results can be explained by different weighting of biological motives covered by the two tests. Further studies are needed to explore the clinical relevance of discrepant test results with respect of outcome.
Despite the widespread use of mammography for breast cancer screening, breast cancer remains the most common cause of cancer related mortality among women world-wide. The identification of blood based biomarkers useful for the early detection of breast cancer could have a major impact on reducing breast cancer disease burden by identifying cancers early when they are most treatable. We conducted a series of large scale proteomic discovery and validation studies using preclinical samples from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study prospective cohort. Of the 503 proteins quantified in experiments conducted on samples from ER+ breast cancer patients and matched controls, 57 differentiated cases from controls. The seven candidates with a commercially available ELISA assay were assessed in an independent validation set. We confirmed that one of these candidates, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), was elevated in cases vs. controls. Compared to women in the lowest EGFR quartile, those in the highest quartile has a 2.90-fold (p=0.0005) increased risk of developing breast cancer. An interaction with use of menopausal hormone therapy was observed such that among current estrogen plus progestin users those in the highest EGFR quartile had a 9.04-fold (p=0.0004) increased risk of developing breast cancer. While the performance of EGFR in terms of sensitivity and specificity is insufficient for it to be used on its own clinically, the formal validation of EGFR suggests that there may indeed be changes in the plasma proteome prior to the clinical diagnosis of breast cancer that are detectable and of potential clinical utility.