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Eur J Cancer. 1997 Mar;33(3):362-71.

Tumour biological features of BRCA1-induced breast and ovarian cancer.

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Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


BRCA1 mutations, although implicated in disease predisposition in a major part of the hereditary breast cancer population, do not seem to be crucially involved in tumorigenesis of sporadic breast and ovarian cancers. This suggests that tumours arising in BRCA1 mutation carriers may differ from BRCA1 negative hereditary and sporadic cancer in genetic and biological features, as well as in clinical behaviour. Prior to BRCA1 analysis, 79 breast and 19 ovarian tumours from 57 breast and breast-ovarian cancer families, and 170 tumours from a comparison group of stage II breast cancers were studied with regard to histopathological features; immunohistochemistry [c-erbB-2, p53, oestrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR)], DNA flow cytometry and S-phase fraction. BRCA1 mutations were found in 40 breast and 15 ovarian tumours. The BRCA1 positive breast tumours were significantly more often of ductal type, histological grade III and manifested a heavy lymphocyte infiltration. Additionally, as compared to BRCA1 negative tumours, the BRCA1 positive tumours were significantly more often ER, PgR and c-erbB-2 negative. Furthermore, they were significantly more often DNA non-diploid, as well as being characterised by higher S-phase fraction values. These results suggest that BRCA1-induced breast cancers may manifest distinct tumour biological features of clinical importance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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