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Br J Cancer. 1996 Sep;74(5):717-21.

Do heat shock proteins have a role in breast cancer?

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  • 1Medical Molecular Biology Unit, Department of Molecular Pathology, London, UK.


It is clear therefore that hsps are overexpressed in patients with malignant tumours compared with healthy controls and this overexpression does show some correlation with disease features. Furthermore, expression of hsps has been reported on the cell surface of tumour cell lines. This could be associated with the immune response which has been reported with hsp90 and which also correlates with some disease features. It now appears that hsps may be involved in the presentation of tumour antigens leading to the possibility of hsps being used as a means of therapy. Hsp65 expression has not been investigated in patients with breast cancer. However, transfection of bacterial hsp65 into a tumour cell line resulted in the hsp65-expressing tumour cells losing their tumorigenicity in mice (Lukacs et al., 1993). Thus, hsps and the immune response to them are of interest as diagnostic and prognostic tools as well as a novel form of immunotherapy.

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