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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Jul 1;10(13):4325-31.

Enhanced expression of leptin and leptin receptor (OB-R) in human breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. makoto-ishi@umin.ac.jp

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate leptin and leptin receptor (OB-R) expression in human breast cancer and determine whether it could be effective for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

Immunohistochemical staining using specific antibodies was used to evaluate the protein expression of leptin and OB-R in 76 invasive ductal carcinomas and 32 samples of corresponding normal mammary gland, and the relationship between the expression of OB-R and leptin and clinicopathological features was analyzed.

RESULTS:

Normal mammary epithelial cells did not express a significant level of Ob-R, whereas carcinoma cells showed positive staining for OB-R in 63 (83%) cases. Both normal epithelial cells and carcinoma cells expressed a significant level of leptin. However, overexpression of leptin, as determined by staining intensity, was observed in 70 cancers (92%) but in no normal epithelium. The expression of OB-R showed a significant correlation with the level of leptin expression. Interestingly, distant metastasis was detected in 21 (34%) of 61 OB-R-positive tumors with leptin overexpression, but in none of the 15 tumors that lacked OB-R expression or leptin overexpression (P < 0.05). Consequently, patients with the former tumors showed significantly lower survival than those with the latter.

CONCLUSIONS:

Leptin may have a promoting effect on the carcinogenesis and metastasis of breast cancer, possibly in an autocrine manner. Functional inhibition of leptin may be effective for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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