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author:("grisella, Jan")
1.  High Prevalence of Human Cytomegalovirus Proteins and Nucleic Acids in Primary Breast Cancer and Metastatic Sentinel Lymph Nodes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56795.
Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women worldwide. Increasing evidence implies that human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is associated with several malignancies. We aimed to examine whether HCMV is present in breast cancer and sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastases.
Materials and Methods
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue specimens from breast cancer and paired sentinel lymph node (SLN) samples were obtained from patients with (n = 35) and without SLN metastasis (n = 38). HCMV immediate early (IE) and late (LA) proteins were detected using a sensitive immunohistochemistry (IHC) technique and HCMV DNA by real-time PCR.
HCMV IE and LA proteins were abundantly expressed in 100% of breast cancer specimens. In SLN specimens, 94% of samples with metastases (n = 34) were positive for HCMV IE and LA proteins, mostly confined to neoplastic cells while some inflammatory cells were HCMV positive in 60% of lymph nodes without metastases (n = 35). The presence of HCMV DNA was confirmed in 12/12 (100%) of breast cancer and 10/11 (91%) SLN specimens from the metastatic group, but was not detected in 5/5 HCMV-negative, SLN-negative specimens. There was no statistically significant association between HCMV infection grades and progesterone receptor, estrogen receptor alpha and Elston grade status.
The role of HCMV in the pathogenesis of breast cancer is unclear. As HCMV proteins were mainly confined to neoplastic cells in primary breast cancer and SLN samples, our observations raise the question whether HCMV contributes to the tumorigenesis of breast cancer and its metastases.
PMCID: PMC3579924  PMID: 23451089
2.  Breast Cancer in Young Women: Poor Survival Despite Intensive Treatment 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e7695.
Breast cancer is uncommon in young women and correlates with a less favourable prognosis; still it is the most frequent cancer in women under 40, accounting for 30–40% of all incident female cancer. The aim of this study was to study prognosis in young women, quantifying how much stage at diagnosis and management on the one hand, and tumour biology on the other; each contribute to the worse prognosis seen in this age group.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In a registry based cohort of women aged 20–69 (n = 22 017) with a primary diagnosis of invasive breast cancer (1992–2005), women aged 20–34 (n = 471), 35–39 (n = 858) and 40–49 (n = 4789) were compared with women aged 50–69 years (n = 15 899). The cumulative 5-year relative survival ratio and the relative excess mortality (RER) were calculated. The cumulative 5-year relative survival ratio was lowest in women aged 20–34. The RER was 2.84 for women aged 20–34 and decreased with increasing age (RER 1.76 and 1.17 for women aged 35–39 and 40–49, respectively). The excess risk was, however, present only in disease stages I and II. For women aged 20–34 with stage I disease RER was 4.63, and 6.70 in the subgroup with tumour size 1–10 mm. The absolute difference in stage I between the youngest and the reference groups amounted to nearly 8%, with a 90% 5-year survival in women aged 20–34. In stages IIa and IIb, the relative excess risk was not as dramatic, but the absolute differences approached 15%. The youngest women with small tumours generally received more aggressive treatment than women in older age groups.
After correction for stage, tumour characteristics and treatment, age remained an independent risk factor for breast cancer death in women <35 years of age. The excess risk for young women was only seen in early stages of disease and was most pronounced in women with small tumours. Young women affected by breast cancer have a high risk of dying compared to their middle-aged counterparts even if diagnosed early and receiving an intense treatment.
PMCID: PMC2770847  PMID: 19907646

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