Send to

Choose Destination
Breast Cancer Res. 2002;4(6):R16. Epub 2002 Aug 27.

Expression and prognostic significance of lysozyme in male breast cancer.

Author information

Servicio de Cirugía General, Hospital Virgen de los Lirios de Alcoy, Alicante, Spain.



Lysozyme, one of the major protein components of human milk that is also synthesized by a significant percentage of breast carcinomas, is associated with lesions that have a favorable outcome in female breast cancer. Here we evaluate the expression and prognostic value of lysozyme in male breast cancer (MBC).


Lysozyme expression was examined by immunohistochemical methods in a series of 60 MBC tissue sections and in 15 patients with gynecomastia. Staining was quantified using the HSCORE (histological score) system, which considers both the intensity and the percentage of cells staining at each intensity. Prognostic value of lysozyme was retrospectively evaluated by multivariate analysis taking into account conventional prognostic factors.


Lysozyme immunostaining was negative in all cases of gynecomastia. A total of 27 of 60 MBC sections (45%) stained positively for this protein, but there were clear differences among them with regard to the intensity and percentage of stained cells. Statistical analysis showed that lysozyme HSCORE values in relation to age, tumor size, nodal status, histological grade, estrogen receptor status, metastasis and histological type did not increase the statistical significance. Univariate analysis confirmed that both nodal involvement and lysozyme values were significant predictors of short-term relapse-free survival. Multivariate analysis, according to Cox's regression model, also showed that nodal status and lysozyme levels were significant independent indicators of short-term relapse-free survival.


Tumor expression of lysozyme is associated with lesions that have an unfavorable outcome in male breast cancer. This milk protein may be a new prognostic factor in patients with breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center