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Cancer. 2002 Apr 15;94(8):2151-9.

Correlation between MIB-1 and other proliferation markers: clinical implications of the MIB-1 cutoff value.

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Laboratoire d'Oncobiologie, Centre René Huguenin, Saint-Cloud, France.



Cell proliferation is a major determinant of the biologic behavior of breast carcinoma. MIB-1 monoclonal antibody is a promising tool for determining cell proliferation on routine histologic material. The objectives of this study were to compare MIB-1 evaluation to other methods of measuring cell proliferation, with a view to refining the cutoff used to classify tumors with low and high proliferation rates in therapeutic trials.


One hundred eighty-five invasive breast carcinomas were evaluated for cell proliferation by determining monoclonal antibody MIB-1 staining, histologic parameters (Scarff-Bloom-Richardson grade and mitotic index) on paraffin sections, S-phase fraction (SPF) by flow cytometry, and thymidine-kinase (TK) content of frozen samples.


There was a high correlation (P = 0.0001) between the percentage of MIB-1 positive tumor cells and SPF, TK, histologic grade, and the mitotic index. Multivariate analyses including MIB-1 at 5 different cutoffs (10%, 15%, 17% [median], 20%, 25%) and the other proliferative markers showed that the optimal MIB-1 cutoff was 25% and that the mitotic index was the proliferative variable that best discriminated between low and high MIB-1 samples. A MIB-1 cutoff of 25% adequately identified highly proliferative tumors. Conversely, with a MIB-1 cutoff of 10%, few tumors with low proliferation were misclassified.


The choice of MIB-1 cutoff depends on the following clinical objective: if MIB-1 is used to exclude patients with slowly proliferating tumors from chemotherapeutic protocols, a cutoff of 10% will help to avoid overtreatment. In contrast, if MIB-1 is used to identify patients sensitive to chemotherapy protocols, it is preferable to set the cutoff at 25%. The MIB-1 index should be combined with some other routinely used proliferative markers, such as the mitotic index.

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