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Ecancermedicalscience. 2014 Feb 20;8:404. doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2014.404. eCollection 2014.

Relationship of CK8/18 expression pattern to breast cancer immunohistochemical subtyping in Egyptian patients.

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Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, 32511, Egypt.
Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, 32511, Egypt.


The immunohistochemical (IHC) subtyping of breast cancer can be a useful substitute for gene expression analysis. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of CK8/18 to the biology of breast carcinoma (BC) represented by its IHC subtypes. The IHC expression of CK8/18 was correlated with IHC subtypes of BC using ER, PR, HER2/neu, and Ki67 LI (with cutoff 14%). All cases showed CK 8/18 expression in tumour cells with varying degree of intensities; 49/70 cases (70%) showed diffuse cytoplasmic expression (loss of membranous pattern), while 21/70 cases (30%) showed membrano-cytoplasmic pattern. Adjacent non-neoplastic breast lobules showed membrano-cytoplasmic pattern in 58% of cases, which was significantly different from the pattern in invasive cancer (P = 0.002). A loss of membranous pattern in malignant tumours was significantly associated with higher tumour grade (P = 0.02), higher mitotic count (P = 0.03), and negative HER2/neu status (P = 0.04). CK 8/18 H score ranged between 1 and 290 with mean ± SD was 181 ± 70.54. Tumours with lower CK 8/18 H score were in the advanced stage group (P = 0.04). Low CK8/18 H score and loss of membranous pattern were significantly associated with triple negative (TN) subtype as compared with luminal subtype (P = 0.006 and P = 0.026, respectively). In addition, CK8/18 with lost membranous pattern was significantly associated with TN subtype compared with HER2/neu positive subtype (P = 0.001). However, there was no significant difference between luminal A and B subtypes regarding CK8/18 H score or pattern of expression. This study concluded that low CK8/18 H score and loss of membranous pattern of CK8/18 are associated with worse prognostic features and TN subtype.


CK8/18; Ki67 labelling index; breast carcinoma; immunohistochemical subtyping

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