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Am J Pathol. 1988 Jun;131(3):578-86.

Deletion of antigens of the Lewis a/b blood group family in human prostatic carcinoma.

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Department of Pathology, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville 22908.


The expression of antigens of the blood group Lewis a/b family were studied in a series of 42 prostatectomy specimens from patients with adenocarcinoma clinically confined to the prostate; 19 of these were later reclassified as pathologic Stage C. Staining of normal or hyperplastic versus neoplastic epithelium was assessed in routinely processed, paraffin-embedded tissue using murine monoclonal antibodies and an avidin-biotin immunoperoxidase technique. Antigens screened and the antibodies used to recognize them were Lewis a (CF4C4), Lewis b and Type 1 H (NS10), monosialosyl Lewis a I (19.9), and disialosyl Lewis a and monosialosyl Lewis a II (FH7). FH7 strongly stained the benign epithelium of all 39 Lewis positive cases, suggesting that the sialyltransferase responsible for synthesis of FH7-reactive determinants is highly active in benign prostatic tissue. When compared to the reactivity of benign epithelium in Lewis positive cases, the staining of the carcinomas was markedly reduced in 18 cases (46%) and absent in 16 cases (41%). This reduction or loss of staining of the malignant epithelium was observed for all antibodies that stained the corresponding benign epithelium of each case. In only five of the cases (13%) was the intensity of staining in the carcinoma equal to that of the surrounding benign epithelium. No cases in this latter group had recurrence of disease, whereas in the other staining groups 25-33% of the cases had recurrences; median follow-up for the entire group was 78 months. No correlation was apparent between Gleason score and the staining pattern with these antigens. In summary, antigens of the Lewis a/b family are deleted in a high percentage of cases of prostatic adenocarcinoma.

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