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Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2018 Oct 24. doi: 10.1097/PAI.0000000000000716. [Epub ahead of print]

Fluoro-Chromogenic Labelling for Detection of MCM2 to Assess Proliferation Activity in HER2-amplified Breast Carcinomas.

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BioMediTech Institute and Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere.
Päijät-Häme Joint Authority for Health and Wellbeing, Pathology, Lahti, Finland.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere.


Minichromosome Maintenance Protein 2 (MCM2) is critical in initiating DNA replication during the cell division process. As expressed intensively in all phases of the active cell cycle, MCM2 has been proposed as a novel biomarker to determine cellular proliferation. We aimed at clarifying the prevalence and clinical significance of MCM2 in HER2-amplified breast cancer subtype. MCM2 expression was studied in 142 primary HER2-amplified breast carcinomas by applying a novel fluoro-chromogenic immunohistochemistry and tailored digital image analysis to determine labelling index (MCM2-LI). The presence of MCM2 was detected with HRP-conjugated polymer and visualized with 3, 3'-diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride, in cytokeratin (CK)-positive and Cy2-IgG-labelled breast cancer cells of epithelial origin. Stained slides were digitized by scanning sequentially under bright field (for MCM2) and fluorescence (for CK) illumination. Multilayer JPEG2000 images were analyzed with ImmunoRatio 2.5 (accessory in SlideVantage 1.2 software) utilizing its bright field and fluorescence image-blending mode to display MCM2-CK dual-positive cells. MCM2-LI was retrospectively compared with histopathologic characteristics and patients' clinical outcome. MCM2 protein-expressing cells (median MCM2-LI, 63.5%) were more frequent than those of Ki67 (median Ki67 labelling index, 33%). Significant correlations were found between high MCM2-LI, high Ki67 labelling index, negative hormone receptor (ER, PR) statuses, high grade of malignancy, and high cyclin E expression. MCM2-LI was not shown to be predictive of disease recurrence during the median follow-up of 5.3 years but was shown to be useful to distinguish aggressive-type HER2-amplified breast carcinomas with high malignancy grade and hormone receptor negativity. The fluoro-chromogenic double-labelling immunohistochemistry accompanied with digital image analysis provides an accurate carcinoma-specific determination of MCM2-LI on a single tumor section.

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