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Int J Cancer. 1997 Dec 10;73(6):812-5.

Calcitonin receptors, bone sialoprotein and osteopontin are expressed in primary breast cancers.

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St. Vincent's Institute of Medical Research and The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.


Several human breast cancer cell lines express the calcitonin receptor (CTR), but this has not been demonstrated previously in clinical breast cancers. We examined 18 primary breast cancers by reverse transcription-PCR, for expression of CTR and of the bone proteins osteopontin (OPN) and bone sialoprotein (BSP). OPN and CTR were expressed by each of the tumours, and 7 (39%) additionally expressed an alternate form of CTR, whilst BSP was expressed by 13 tumours (72%). In situ hybridisation confirmed that expression of OPN and CTR was confined to the tumour cells. Expression of CTR, BSP and OPN may prove to be a useful marker for breast cancers, and their role in the homing of breast cancer cells to bone remains to be investigated.

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