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1.  FELD better not thinking of metastases only when liver lesions appear after bleomycin-based treatment for non-seminoma testis from metastases 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:491.
Bleomycin has become an integral part of chemotherapy in patients with germ-cell tumors. One of the most feared side effects is bleomycin-induced pneumonitis. In patients with mild or moderate BIP, radiological signs disappear almost completely within nine months after discontinuation of bleomycin treatment.
Case presentation
We present a patient with a history of non seminoma of the testis and bleomycin-induced pneumonitis. During follow-up, regression of the hypothesis of eosinophilic migration to the liver after regression of bleomycin-induced pneumonitis is highly suspicious based on transient eosinophilia and focal eosinophilic liver disease.
As follow up may consist of CT scanning in germ-line tumor patients, transient eosinophilic liver lesions reported during regressive bleomycin-induced pneumonitis should not be presumed automatically as metastatic tumor relapse and require further sequential imaging and pathological examination.
PMCID: PMC4015643  PMID: 24148527
Transient; Eosinophilia; Liver lesions; Non-seminoma testis
2.  Adjuvant Tamoxifen Reduces Subsequent Breast Cancer in Women With Estrogen Receptor–Positive Ductal Carcinoma in Situ: A Study Based on NSABP Protocol B-24 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;30(12):1268-1273.
The NSABP (National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project) B-24 study demonstrated significant benefit with adjuvant tamoxifen in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) after lumpectomy and radiation. Patients were enrolled without knowledge of hormone receptor status. The current study retrospectively evaluated the relationship between receptors and response to tamoxifen.
Patients and Methods
Estrogen (ER) and progesterone receptors (PgR) were evaluated in 732 patients with DCIS (41% of original study population). An experienced central laboratory determined receptor status in all patient cases with available paraffin blocks (n = 449) by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using comprehensively validated assays. Results for additional patients (n = 283) determined by various methods (primarily IHC) were available from enrolling institutions. Combined results were evaluated for benefit of tamoxifen by receptor status at 10 years and overall follow-up (median, 14.5 years).
ER was positive in 76% of patients. Patients with ER-positive DCIS treated with tamoxifen (v placebo) showed significant decreases in subsequent breast cancer at 10 years (hazard ratio [HR], 0.49; P < .001) and overall follow-up (HR, 0.60; P = .003), which remained significant in multivariable analysis (overall HR, 0.64; P = .003). Results were similar, but less significant, when subsequent ipsilateral and contralateral, invasive and noninvasive, breast cancers were considered separately. No significant benefit was observed in ER-negative DCIS. PgR and either receptor were positive in 66% and 79% of patients, respectively, and in general, neither was more predictive than ER alone.
Patients in NSABP B-24 with ER-positive DCIS receiving adjuvant tamoxifen after standard therapy showed significant reductions in subsequent breast cancer. The use of adjuvant tamoxifen should be considered for patients with DCIS.
PMCID: PMC3341142  PMID: 22393101
3.  The Importance of the Pathologist’s Role in Assessment of the Quality of the Mesorectum 
Total mesorectal excision (TME) is considered standard of care for rectal cancer treatment. Failure to remove the mesorectal fat envelope entirely may explain part of observed local and distant recurrences. Several studies suggest quality of the mesorectum after TME surgery as determined by pathological evaluation may influence prognosis. We aimed to determine the prognostic value of the plane of surgery as well as factors influencing the likelihood of a high-quality specimen by reviewing the literature. A pooled meta-analysis of relevant outcome data was performed where appropriate. A muscularis propria resection plane was found to increase the risk of local recurrence (RR 2.72 [95 % CI 1.36 to 5.44]) and overall recurrence (RR 2.00 [95 % CI 1.17 to 3.42]) compared to an (intra)mesorectal plane. Plane of surgery is an important factor in rectal cancer treatment and the documentation by pathologists is essential for the improvement of TME quality and patient outcome.
PMCID: PMC3343235  PMID: 22611342
Rectal cancer; Mesorectum; Quality of surgery; Plane of surgery; Pathology; Medicine & Public Health; Colorectal Surgery; Proctology; Oncology
4.  The CARTS study: Chemoradiation therapy for rectal cancer in the distal rectum followed by organ-sparing transanal endoscopic microsurgery 
BMC Surgery  2011;11:34.
The CARTS study is a multicenter feasibility study, investigating the role of rectum saving surgery for distal rectal cancer.
Patients with a clinical T1-3 N0 M0 rectal adenocarcinoma below 10 cm from the anal verge will receive neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy (25 fractions of 2 Gy with concurrent capecitabine). Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) will be performed 8 - 10 weeks after the end of the preoperative treatment depending on the clinical response.
Primary objective is to determine the number of patients with a (near) complete pathological response after chemoradiation therapy and TEM. Secondary objectives are the local recurrence rate and quality of life after this combined therapeutic modality. A three-step analysis will be performed after 20, 33 and 55 patients to ensure the feasibility of this treatment protocol.
The CARTS-study is one of the first prospective multicentre trials to investigate the role of a rectum saving treatment modality using chemoradiation therapy and local excision. The CARTS study is registered at (NCT01273051)
PMCID: PMC3295682  PMID: 22171697
5.  Tribbles homolog 3 denotes a poor prognosis in breast cancer and is involved in hypoxia response 
Hypoxia in solid tumors is associated with treatment resistance, resulting in poor prognosis. Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) is induced during hypoxia and is involved in multiple cellular pathways involved in cell survival. Here, we investigated the role of TRIB3 in breast cancer.
TRIB3 mRNA expression was measured in breast tumor tissue from 247 patients and correlated with clinicopathological parameters and clinical outcome. Furthermore, we studied TRIB3 expression regulation in cell lines, xenografts tissues and human breast cancer material using Reverse transcriptase, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and immunohistochemical staining. Finally, the effect of small interfering RNA (siRNA) mediated TRIB3 knockdown on hypoxia tolerance was assessed.
Breast cancer patients with low, intermediate or high TRIB3 expression exhibited a mean disease free survival (DFS) of 80 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 74 to 86), 74 (CI = 67 to 81), and 63 (CI = 55 to 71) months respectively (P = .002, Mantel-Cox log-rank). The prognostic value of TRIB3 was limited to those patients that had received radiotherapy as part of their primary treatment (n = 179, P = .005) and remained statistically significant after correction for other clinicopathological parameters (DFS, Hazard Ratio = 1.90, CI = 1.17 to 3.08, P = .009). In breast cell lines TRIB3 expression was induced by hypoxia, nutrient starvation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in an hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) independent manner. TRIB3 induction after hypoxia did not increase with decreasing oxygen levels. In breast tumor xenografts and human breast cancer tissues TRIB3 co-localized with the hypoxic cell marker pimonidazole. The induction of TRIB3 by hypoxia was shown to be regulated via the PERK/ATF4/CHOP pathway of the unfolded protein response and knockdown of TRIB3 resulted in a dose-dependent increase in hypoxia sensitivity.
TRIB3 is independently associated with poor prognosis of breast cancer patients, possibly through its association with tumor cell hypoxia.
PMCID: PMC3236345  PMID: 21864376
6.  Effects of intervention with sulindac and inulin/VSL#3 on mucosal and luminal factors in the pouch of patients with familial adenomatous polyposis 
In order to define future chemoprevention strategies for adenomas or carcinomas in the pouch of patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a 4-weeks intervention with (1) sulindac, (2) inulin/VSL#3, and (3) sulindac/inulin/VSL#3 was performed on 17 patients with FAP in a single center intervention study.
Primary endpoints were the risk parameters cell proliferation and glutathione S-transferase (GST) detoxification capacity in the pouch mucosa; secondary endpoints were the short chain fatty acid (SCFA) contents, pH, and cytotoxicity of fecal water.
Before the start and at the end of each 4-week intervention period, six biopsies of the pouch were taken and feces was collected during 24 h. Cell proliferation and GST enzyme activity was assessed in the biopsies and pH, SCFA contents, and cytotoxicity were assessed in the fecal water fraction. The three interventions (sulindac, inulin/VSL#3, sulindac/inulin/VSL#3) were compared with the Mann–Whitney U test.
Cell proliferation was lower after sulindac or VSL#3/inulin, the combination treatment with sulindac/inulin/VSL#3 showed the opposite. GST enzyme activity was increased after sulindac or VSL#3/inulin, the combination treatment showed the opposite effect. However, no significance was reached in all these measures. Cytotoxicity, pH, and SCFA content of fecal water showed no differences at all among the three treatment groups.
Our study revealed non-significant decreased cell proliferation and increased detoxification capacity after treatment with sulindac or VSL#3/inulin; however, combining both regimens did not show an additional effect.
PMCID: PMC3077743  PMID: 21243500
Familial adenomatous polyposis; Sulindac; Inulin; VSL#3; Cell proliferation
7.  The Functional −765G→C Polymorphism of the COX-2 Gene May Reduce the Risk of Developing Crohn's Disease 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e15011.
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a key enzyme involved in the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostaglandins. COX-2 is mainly induced at sites of inflammation in response to proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1α/β, interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α produced by inflammatory cells.
The aim of this study was to investigate the possible modulating effect of the functional COX-2 polymorphisms −1195 A→G and −765G→C on the risk for development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a Dutch population.
Genomic DNA of 525 patients with Crohn's disease (CD), 211 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 973 healthy controls was genotyped for the −1195 A→G (rs689466) and −765G→C (rs20417) polymorphisms. Distribution of genotypes in patients and controls were compared and genotype-phenotype interactions were investigated.
The genotype distribution of the −1195A→G polymorphism was not different between the patients with CD or UC and the control group. The −765GG genotype was more prevalent in CD patients compared to controls with an OR of 1.33 (95%CI 1.04–1.69, p<0.05). The −765GC and −765CC genotype carriers showed a tendency to be less frequent in patients with CD compared to controls, with ORs of 0.78 (95%CI: 0.61–1.00) and 0.49 (95%CI 0.22–1.08), respectively. Combining homozygous and heterozygous patients with the −765C allele showed a reduced risk for developing CD, with an OR of 0.75 (95%CI: 0.59–0.96). In the context of this, the G−1195G−765/A−1195C−765 diplotype was significantly less common in patients with CD compared to controls, with an OR of 0.62 (95%CI: 0.39–0.98). For UC however, such an effect was not observed. No correlation was found between COX-2 diplotypes and clinical characteristics of IBD.
The −765G→C polymorphism was associated with a reduced risk for developing Crohn's disease in a Dutch population.
PMCID: PMC2991351  PMID: 21124790
8.  Visually assessed breast density, breast cancer risk and the importance of the craniocaudal view 
Mammographic density is known to be a strong risk factor for breast cancer. A particularly strong association with risk has been observed when density is measured using interactive threshold software. This, however, is a labour-intensive process for large-scale studies.
Our aim was to determine the performance of visually assessed percent breast density as an indicator of breast cancer risk. We compared the effect on risk of density as measured with the mediolateral oblique view only versus that estimated as the average density from the mediolateral oblique view and the craniocaudal view. Density was assessed using a visual analogue scale in 10,048 screening mammograms, including 311 breast cancer cases diagnosed at that screening episode or within the following 6 years.
Where only the mediolateral oblique view was available, there was a modest effect of breast density on risk with an odds ratio for the 76% to 100% density relative to 0% to 25% of 1.51 (95% confidence interval 0.71 to 3.18). When two views were available, there was a considerably stronger association, with the corresponding odds ratio being 6.77 (95% confidence interval 2.75 to 16.67).
This indicates that a substantial amount of information on risk from percentage breast density is contained in the second view. It also suggests that visually assessed breast density has predictive potential for breast cancer risk comparable to that of density measured using the interactive threshold software when two views are available. This observation needs to be confirmed by studies applying the different measurement methods to the same individuals.
PMCID: PMC2575537  PMID: 18651965
9.  Local and distant recurrences in rectal cancer patients are predicted by the nonspecific immune response; specific immune response has only a systemic effect - a histopathological and immunohistochemical study 
BMC Cancer  2001;1:7.
Invasion and metastasis is a complex process governed by the interaction of genetically altered tumor cells and the immunological and inflammatory host reponse. Specific T-cells directed against tumor cells and the nonspecific inflammatory reaction due to tissue damage, cooperate against invasive tumor cells in order to prevent recurrences. Data concerning involvement of individual cell types are readily available but little is known about the coordinate interactions between both forms of immune response.
Patients and methods
The presence of inflammatory infiltrate and eosinophils was determined in 1530 patients with rectal adenocarcinoma from a multicenter trial. We selected 160 patients to analyze this inflammatory infiltrate in more detail using immunohistochemistry. The association with the development of local and distant relapses was determined using univariate and multivariate log rank testing.
Patients with an extensive inflammatory infiltrate around the tumor had lower recurrence rates (3.4% versus 6.9%, p = 0.03), showing the importance of host response against tumor cells. In particular, peritumoral mast cells prevent local and distant recurrence (44% versus 15%, p = 0.007 and 86% versus 21%, p < 0.0001, respectively), with improved survival as a consequence. The presence of intratumoral T-cells had independent prognostic value for the occurrence of distant metastases (32% versus 76%, p < 0.0001).
We showed that next to properties of tumor cells, the amount and type of inflammation is also relevant in the control of rectal cancer. Knowledge of the factors involved may lead to new approaches in the management of rectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC35356  PMID: 11481031
10.  Chromosomal Copy Number Aberrations in Colorectal Metastases Resemble Their Primary Counterparts and Differences Are Typically Non-Recurrent 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e86833.
The metastatic process is complex and remains a major obstacle in the management of colorectal cancer. To gain a better insight into the pathology of metastasis, we investigated genomic aberrations in a large cohort of matched colorectal cancer primaries and distant metastases from various sites by high resolution array comparative genomic hybridization. In total, 62 primary colorectal cancers, and 68 matched metastases (22 liver, 11 lung, 12 ovary, 12 omentum, and 11 distant lymph nodes) were analyzed. Public datasets were used for validation purposes. Metastases resemble their matched primary tumors in the majority of the patients. This validates the significant overlap in chromosomal aberrations between primary tumors and corresponding metastases observed previously. We observed 15 statistically significant different regions between the primary tumors and their matched metastases, of which only one recurrent event in metastases was observed. We conclude, based on detailed analysis and large independent datasets, that chromosomal copy number aberrations in colorectal metastases resemble their primary counterparts, and differences are typically non-recurrent.
PMCID: PMC3914793  PMID: 24505270
11.  Ursodeoxycholic acid counteracts celecoxib in reduction of duodenal polyps in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis: a multicentre, randomized controlled trial 
Due to prophylactic colectomy, mortality in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) has changed, with duodenal cancer currently being the main cause of death. Although celecoxib reduces duodenal polyp density in patients with FAP, its long-term use may increase the risk of cardiovascular events and alternatives need to be explored. Preclinical studies suggest that the combination of celecoxib with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is a potentially effective strategy. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to investigate the effect of celecoxib and UDCA co-treatment on duodenal adenomatosis in patients with FAP.
Patients with FAP received celecoxib (400 mg twice daily) and UDCA (1000-2000 mg daily, ~20-30 mg/kg/day, n=19) or celecoxib and placebo (n=18) orally for 6 months. Primary outcome was drug efficacy, assessed by comparing duodenal polyp density at pre- and post-intervention by blinded review of endoscopic recordings. As secondary outcomes, cell proliferation, apoptosis, and COX-2 levels in normal duodenal mucosa were assessed by immunohistochemistry or real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
In intention-to-treat analysis, deceased polyp density was observed after celecoxib/placebo treatment (p=0.029), whereas increased polyp density was observed after celecoxib/UDCA treatment (p=0.014). The difference in change in duodenal polyp density was statistically significant between the groups (p=0.011). No changes in secondary outcomes were observed. Thirty patients (81%) reported one or more adverse events, 16 patients (84%, Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0 (CTCAE) grade 1–3) treated with celecoxib/UDCA and 14 patients (78%, CTCAE grade 1–2) treated with celecoxib/placebo. Nine patients (24%) discontinued intervention prematurely, 5 patients (26%) treated with celecoxib/UDCA and 4 patients (22%) treated with celecoxib/placebo.
Celecoxib reduces duodenal polyp density in patients with FAP, and unexpectedly, high dose UDCA co-treatment counteracts this effect. The benefit of long term use of celecoxib for duodenal cancer prevention needs to be weighed against the (risk of) adverse events.
Trial registration, identifier NCT00808743
PMCID: PMC3750541  PMID: 23919274
Familial adenomatous polyposis; Chemoprevention; Celecoxib; Ursodeoxycholic acid; Duodenal adenomatosis; Cell proliferation; Apoptosis; Cyclooxygenase-2
12.  Short-course radiotherapy followed by neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer – the RAPIDO trial 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:279.
Current standard for most of the locally advanced rectal cancers is preoperative chemoradiotherapy, and, variably per institution, postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy. Short-course preoperative radiation with delayed surgery has been shown to induce tumour down-staging in both randomized and observational studies. The concept of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy has been proven successful in gastric cancer, hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer and is currently tested in primary colon cancer.
Methods and design
Patients with rectal cancer with high risk features for local or systemic failure on magnetic resonance imaging are randomized to either a standard arm or an experimental arm. The standard arm consists of chemoradiation (1.8 Gy x 25 or 2 Gy x 25 with capecitabine) preoperatively, followed by selective postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy. Postoperative chemotherapy is optional and may be omitted by participating institutions. The experimental arm includes short-course radiotherapy (5 Gy x 5) followed by full-dose chemotherapy (capecitabine and oxaliplatin) in 6 cycles before surgery. In the experimental arm, no postoperative chemotherapy is prescribed. Surgery is performed according to TME principles in both study arms. The hypothesis is that short-course radiotherapy with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy increases disease-free and overall survival without compromising local control. Primary end-point is disease-free survival at 3 years. Secondary endpoints include overall survival, local control, toxicity profile, and treatment completion rate, rate of pathological complete response and microscopically radical resection, and quality of life.
Following the advances in rectal cancer management, increased focus on survival rather than only on local control is now justified. In an experimental arm, short-course radiotherapy is combined with full-dose chemotherapy preoperatively, an alternative that offers advantages compared to concomitant chemoradiotherapy with or without postoperative chemotherapy. In a multi-centre setting this regimen is compared to current standard with the aim of improving survival for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer.
Trial registration NCT01558921
PMCID: PMC3680047  PMID: 23742033
Rectal cancer; Radiotherapy; Chemotherapy; Neo-adjuvant; Magnetic resonance imaging
The lancet oncology  2010;12(1):49-55.
Lynch syndrome is caused by germline mutations in mismatch repair genes (MSH2, MLH1, MSH6 or PMS2), which lead to a high risk of predominantly colorectal and endometrial cancer. Recently, we found that also constitutional 3′ end deletions of EPCAM can cause Lynch syndrome through epigenetic silencing of MSH2 in EPCAM expressing tissues. This results in a tissue specific MSH2-deficiency, which may evoke a different cancer risk and spectrum. To optimize the care for EPCAM deletion carriers we studied their cancer risk and spectrum.
Clinical data of 194 carriers from 41 EPCAM families were systematically collected and compared to those of 431 carriers from 91 families with mutations in MLH1, MSH2, or MSH6.
EPCAM deletion carriers exhibited a 75% [95%CI 65–85%] cumulative risk of colorectal cancer before the age of 70 years, with a mean age at diagnosis of 43 years, which is comparable to that of carriers of a combined EPCAM-MSH2 deletion (69% [95%CI 47-91%], p=0·8609) or of a mutation in MSH2 (77% [95%CI 64-90%], p=0·5892) or MLH1 (79% [95%CI 68-90%], p=0·5492) and higher than that of MSH6 mutation carriers (50% [95%CI 38-62%], p<0·0001). In contrast, women with EPCAM deletions (n=87) exhibited a 12% [95%CI 0-27%] cumulative risk of endometrial cancer, which is significantly lower than in carriers of a combined EPCAM-MSH2 deletion (55% [95%CI 20-90%], p<0·0001) or of a mutation in MSH2 (51% [95%CI 33-69%], p=0·0006) or MSH6 (34% [95%CI 20-48%], p=0·0309) and lower than in MLH1 (33% [95%CI 15-51%] p=0·1193) mutation carriers. This risk seems to be restricted to large deletions that extend close to the MSH2 gene promoter. Overall, a relatively high incidence of duodenal (n=3) and pancreatic (n=4) cancers was observed.
EPCAM deletion carriers do have a high risk of colorectal cancer. Only those with deletions extending close to the MSH2 promoter have an increased risk of endometrial cancer. These results underscore the impact of mosaic MSH2-deficiency on cancer risk and are indicative for a protocol revision for surveillance and preventive surgery in EPCAM deletion carriers.
PMCID: PMC3670774  PMID: 21145788
Lynch syndrome; cancer risk; TACSTD1; EPCAM; MSH2; genotype-phenotype correlation
14.  Beyond KRAS mutation status: influence of KRAS copy number status and microRNAs on clinical outcome to cetuximab in metastatic colorectal cancer patients 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:292.
KRAS mutation is a negative predictive factor for treatment with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Novel predictive markers are required to further improve the selection of patients for this treatment. We assessed the influence of modification of KRAS by gene copy number aberration (CNA) and microRNAs (miRNAs) in correlation to clinical outcome in mCRC patients treated with cetuximab in combination with chemotherapy and bevacizumab.
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary tumour tissue was used from 34 mCRC patients in a phase III trial, who were selected based upon their good (n = 17) or poor (n = 17) progression-free survival (PFS) upon treatment with cetuximab in combination with capecitabine, oxaliplatin, and bevacizumab. Gene copy number at the KRAS locus was assessed using high resolution genome-wide array CGH and the expression levels of 17 miRNAs targeting KRAS were determined by real-time PCR.
Copy number loss of the KRAS locus was observed in the tumour of 5 patients who were all good responders including patients with a KRAS mutation. Copy number gains in two wild-type KRAS tumours were associated with a poor PFS. In KRAS mutated tumours increased miR-200b and decreased miR-143 expression were associated with a good PFS. In wild-type KRAS patients, miRNA expression did not correlate with PFS in a multivariate model.
Our results indicate that the assessment of KRAS CNA and miRNAs targeting KRAS might further optimize the selection of mCRC eligible for anti-EGFR therapy.
PMCID: PMC3508829  PMID: 22804917
15.  Receptor conversion in distant breast cancer metastases 
When breast cancer patients develop distant metastases, the choice of systemic treatment is usually based on tissue characteristics of the primary tumor as determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and/or molecular analysis. Several previous studies have shown that the immunophenotype of distant breast cancer metastases may be different from that of the primary tumor (receptor conversion), leading to inappropriate choice of systemic treatment. The studies published so far are however small and/or methodologically suboptimal. Therefore, definite conclusions that may change clinical practice could not yet be drawn. We therefore aimed to study receptor conversion for estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) in a large group of distant (non-bone) breast cancer metastases by re-staining all primary tumors and metastases with current optimal immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization methods on full sections.
A total of 233 distant breast cancer metastases from different sites (76 skin, 63 liver, 43 lung, 44 brain and 7 gastro-intestinal) were IHC stained for ERα, PR and HER2, and expression was compared to that of the primary tumor. HER2 in situ hybridization (ISH) was done in cases of IHC conversion or when primary tumors or metastases showed an IHC 2+ result.
Using a 10% threshold, receptor conversion by IHC for ERα, PR occurred in 10.3%, 30.0% of patients, respectively. In 10.7% of patients, conversion from ER+ or PR+ to ER-/PR- and in 3.4% from ER-/PR- to ER+ or PR+ was found. Using a 1% threshold, ERα and PR conversion rates were 15.1% and 32.6%. In 12.4% of patients conversion from ER+ or PR+ to ER-/PR-, and 8.2% from ER-/PR- to ER+ or PR+ occurred. HER2 conversion occurred in 5.2%. Of the 12 cases that showed HER2 conversion by IHC, 5 showed also conversion by ISH. One further case showed conversion by ISH, but not by IHC. Conversion was mainly from positive in the primary tumor to negative in the metastases for ERα and PR, while HER2 conversion occurred equally both ways. PR conversion occurred significantly more often in liver, brain and gastro-intestinal metastases.
Receptor conversion by immunohistochemistry in (non-bone) distant breast cancer metastases does occur, is relatively uncommon for ERα and HER2, and is more frequent for PR, especially in brain, liver and gastro-intestinal metastases.
PMCID: PMC3096964  PMID: 20863372

Results 1-15 (15)