Presence and possible significance of immunocytochemically demonstrable metallothionein over-expression in primary invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast

K. W. Schmid, I. O. Ellis, Julia M.W. Gee, Barbara M. Darke, Wendy E. Lees, J. Kay, A. Cryer, J. M. Stark, A. Hittmair, D. Öfner, Martina Dünser, R. Margreiter, G. Daxenbichler, R. I. Nicholson, B. Bier, W. Böcker, B. Jasani

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Abstract

Metallothioneins (MTs) are ubiquitous low-molecular-weight proteins with a high affinity for heavy metal ions such as zinc, copper and cadmium. MT over-expression has been associated with resistance against anticancer drugs. In the present study we investigated 86 cases (45 cases of tumour category pT1 and 41 of category pT2) of routinely fixed and paraffin-embedded primary breast carcinomas immunohistochemically with a monoclonal antibody to an epitope of MT shared by its I and II isoforms. Immunohistochemically demonstrated MT over-expression was found in the invasive components of 7 of 32 pT1 and 17 of 28 pT2 invasive ductal carcinomas, whereas all 26 invasive lobular carcinomas gave weak or negative results. Fourteen of 17 pT2 and 2 of 7 pT1 invasive ductal carcinomas with MT over-expression developed metastases during follow-up with poor prognostic outcome. In contrast only 3 of 11 pT2 and none of the 25 pT1 cases without MT over-expression had a poor clinical course (P < 0.001). It is concluded that MT over-expression is associated with significantly poor prognosis particularly in pT2 invasive ductal breast carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalVirchows Archiv A Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology
Volume422
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1993

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Metallothionein
  • Oestrogen receptors
  • Progesterone receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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    Schmid, K. W., Ellis, I. O., Gee, J. M. W., Darke, B. M., Lees, W. E., Kay, J., Cryer, A., Stark, J. M., Hittmair, A., Öfner, D., Dünser, M., Margreiter, R., Daxenbichler, G., Nicholson, R. I., Bier, B., Böcker, W., & Jasani, B. (1993). Presence and possible significance of immunocytochemically demonstrable metallothionein over-expression in primary invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast. Virchows Archiv A Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology, 422(2), 153-159. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01607167