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Hum Immunol. 2009 Jul;70(7):492-5. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2009.04.029. Epub 2009 May 3.

Analysis and clinical relevance of human leukocyte antigen class I, heavy chain, and beta2-microglobulin downregulation in breast cancer.

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Breast Cancer Laboratory of Tumour Genetics Unit, National Cancer Research Institute, Genoa, Italy.


Investigation is lacking regarding the clinical impact of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I downregulation in breast cancer and results are inconsistent. In this study, we investigated the expression of HLA class I, the heavy chain, and beta2-microglobulin (beta2-m) by immunohistochemistry in 67 breast carcinomas (BC) and correlated results with clinical-pathologic parameters and patient outcomes. Seventy-six percent of BC were downregulated for HLA class I, whereas downregulation of heavy chain and beta2-m was observed in 57 and 46% of BC, respectively. A significant association existed between the absence of tumor necrosis and downregulation of class I and beta2-m and between the absence of lymphovascular invasion and patient's age and downregulated class I and heavy chain, respectively. Among the lymph node-positive BC patients, a significantly improved overall survival was observed in those showing beta2-m downregulation compared with patients with normal beta2-m. This result may correlate with the role of beta2-m in regulating cancer cell growth.

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