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Tumori. 2001 Jul-Aug;87(4):252-5.

Mammary fetal gland: identification of new oncofetal antigens by monoclonal antibodies B72.3, MM1.80 and 4.36.

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  • 1UO Anatomia Patologica III, Dipartimento di Chirurgia, Universit√† degli Studi, Pisa, Italy. sabi.pist@yahoo.it



The B72.3, MM1.80 and 4.63 monoclonal antibodies directed against tumor-associated antigens react in human breast also with metaplastic, preneoplastic and metastatic cells, whereas they do not react with normal adult mammary tissue. The aim of our study was to point out the expression of these antigens during mammary gland development, since tumor-associated antigens are known to represent antigens of differentiation.


Fifty female fetal breasts between 20 and 40 weeks of gestational age were studied.


Mammary tissue was identified only in 15 cases. B72.3, MM1.80 and 4.36 monoclonal antibodies reacted with epithelial antigens and maintained the same location and intensity in the various gestational ages. Immunoreactivity was weak, cytoplasmic and widespread for the 4.36 monoclonal antibody, intense and cytoplasmatic in a large number of cells for the B72.3 monoclonal antibody, and intense and luminal for the MM1.80 monoclonal antibody.


Such data further support the hypothesis that the normal process of development and differentiation can occur during tumor progression processes. Identification of these new oncofetal markers could offer a new perspective able to recognize the different phases of neoplastic progression and could be useful for prevention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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