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Cancer Res. 1994 Apr 1;54(7):1812-7.

Amplification and overexpression of cyclin D1 in breast cancer detected by immunohistochemical staining.

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  • 1Clinical Oncology Unit, Guy's Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


Immunohistochemical staining with a monoclonal antibody against human cyclin D1 can be used to identify breast cancers that have an amplification of the q13 region of chromosome 11. In general, the intensity of staining is directly proportional to the degree of DNA amplification. In two unusual tumors, in which the CCND1 locus is highly amplified but staining is relatively weak, it appears that the DNA has undergone rearrangement and that the amplified/rearranged CCND1 allele may have reduced transcriptional activity. More significantly, the immunohistochemical technique identifies additional tumors in which the cyclin D1 gene is overexpressed with only marginal or undetectable increases in copy number, implying that other mechanisms can lead to deregulated expression. These results suggest that the frequency of overexpression is much higher than previously concluded from DNA-based analyses and that more than one-third of human breast cancers may contain excessive levels of cyclin D1. The technique we describe should facilitate the detection of this abnormality in a clinical setting and clarify its prognostic significance.

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