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Ann Surg Oncol. 1995 Jan;2(1):43-8.

Distribution of Hsp-27 and HER-2/neu in in situ and invasive ductal breast carcinomas.

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Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison.



The overexpression of heat shock protein 27 (hsp-27) in early-stage breast cancer is associated with histopathologic features of poor prognosis and clinically with an increased probability of disease recurrence. Hsp-27 is overexpressed in 25% of invasive ductal carcinomas (IDC); however, its distribution in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and DCIS associated with IDC has not been investigated. We postulated that hsp-27 might be detected and variably expressed in DCIS and, like HER-2/neu oncoprotein expression, might be a tumor-specific marker worthy of future clinical investigation.


To test these hypotheses, the distribution of hsp-27 in noncomedo and comedo DCIS, and DCIS associated with IDC, was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and compared with HER-2/neu expression within the same cancers.


Hsp-27 was overexpressed in 28 of 47 (approximately 60%) cases of DCIS; expression in pure DCIS was 16 of 24 (67%), and 12 of 23 (approximately 50%) in DCIS associated with IDC. Hsp-27 expression by in situ and invasive components of the same neoplasm were concordant in 22 of 23 (approximately 95%) cases tested. Comedo variants appeared to have somewhat higher hsp-27 expression than noncomedo DCIS, whether or not there was an associated IDC. These results are reminiscent of HER-2/neu oncoprotein expression in DCIS and DCIS associated with IDC observed by others. However, although 4 of 22 (18%) cancers containing DCIS + IDC expressed HER-2/neu, no relationship with hsp-27 expression in the same cancers was observed.


We found a high incidence of hsp-27 overexpression in DCIS and in DCIS associated with IDC. This rate is twice that previously observed in IDC alone. Hsp-27 expression is independent of HER-2/neu expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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