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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1999 Jul;56(2):105-12.

G1-S transition defects occur in most breast cancers and predict outcome.

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Department of Pathology, Umeå University, Sweden.


Cell cycle deregulation is frequently observed in tumors and has moreover been proposed to be a requirement for tumor development. By analyzing the expression of p27 by immunohistochemistry in 100 primary breast tumors and combining the analyses with our earlier characterization of cyclin E, D1, p16, and the retinoblastoma protein (pRB), we have been able to cover the majority of potential G1-S transition defects and observed that 90% of the tumors had alterations in one or several cell cycle regulatory proteins. Considerable variations in protein levels were found among tumors, with low p16 expression as the most common alteration followed by cyclin E or cyclin D1 overexpression, low p27 expression or pRB inactivation in decreasing prevalence. Tumors were grouped according to observed combinations of defects and the proliferative capacity was determined for each group by analyzing Ki-67 labeling index. Low proliferation was observed in tumors with: low p16; high cyclin D1 with normal or high p16 expression; and in tumors without cell cycle defects. Tumors with high cyclin E/low p27 or pRB defects showed higher proliferation. The survival differed noticeably for patients with various combinations of cell cycle defects, and four distinctive clusters were identified showing significantly different breast cancer specific survival (p<0.0001) for both node-positive (p = 0.0006) and node-negative patients (p<0.0001). In summary, we have shown that G1-S transition defects are nearly obligatory in breast tumors and that the specific type of cell cycle defect influences the clinical behavior of the tumor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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