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Mod Pathol. 1990 Jul;3(4):449-54.

Immunohistochemical evaluation of c-erbB-2 oncogene expression in ductal carcinoma in situ and atypical ductal hyperplasia of the breast.

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Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.


Cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) of the breast were examined for expression of the protein product of the c-erbB-2 (neu, HER-2) oncogene using two different polyclonal antibodies via an avidin-biotin immunoperoxidase method on formalin- or Bouin'-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue. Fifty-five percent (18/33) of DCIS and 10% (2/21) of ADH were positive. Significant c-erbB-2 expression in DCIS was generally divided on histologic grounds: ten of ten comedocarcinomas showed strong membrane staining, while only one of 14 small cell DCIS cases (micropapillary or cribiform patterns) showed immunostaining (which was weak and basilar in this single case). DCIS cases of mixed histology were strongly positive in areas of comedocarcinoma. In two of three cases of associated Paget's disease strong membrane staining was seen. The two c-erbB-2-positive ADH cases showed weak basilar staining akin to the small cell DCIS cases. Five cases of lobular neoplasia (atypical lobular hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ) associated with DCIS or ADH were negative for c-erbB-2 expression. We conclude that comedocarcinoma in situ and Paget's disease frequently express the c-erbB-2 protein and are both histologically and biochemically distinct from ADH and small cell patterns of DCIS. We advocate precise subclassification of DCIS on histopathologic reports, particularly in view of reports that overexpression of the c-erbB-2 oncogene in infiltrating breast carcinomas may be associated with a poor prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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