Mouse monoclonal antibodies and immunohistochemical technique for determination of sex steroid receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor in breast cancer

Ali Hassan AI-Timimi‎*1


Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies in women. The current study was
conducted with the objective of assessing estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (Her2/neu) reactivity patterns of breast cancers
and to evaluate their association with clinicopathological features. Immunohistochemical
(IHC) procedure was used to detect the expression of ER, PR and HER2/neu in postoperative
paraffin blocks of breast tumors and statistically analyzed their correlations with
clinicopathological characteristics. Most of the patients (66.0%) were ≤50 years at diagnosis.
The left breast was more commonly involved (57%), tumor size ranged from 0.5 – 13.0 cm.
The staining of Her2/neu was mainly localized in the membrane, whereas ER, PR, were
localized in the nucleus. ER positivity was observed in 70% grade I, 48.2% grade II and 3.5%
grade III carcinomas (P<0.05). Similarly PR positivity was observed in 70% grade I, 36.14%
grade II and 1.75% grade III carcinomas (P<0.05). HER2/neu was positive in 1 (10%) case of
grade I carcinoma, 31 (37.35%) cases of the grade II carcinoma and 24 (42.11%) cases of grade
III carcinoma. In the HER-2/neu positive tumors, ER and PR expression in high grade tumors
was significantly decreased compared with intermediate grade tumors (ER 5.6% vs 10.5; PR
0% vs 5.3%). Among the ER, PR and HER2/neu statuses, a significant correlation was
observed between ER expression and PR status (P<0.05), whereas the expression of ER and
PR exhibited a negative correlation with HER2 status (P<0.05). We also demonstrated a
significant correlation between the HER2/neu subtypes with poor histological grade (P<0.05).
In conclusion, there is a definite correlation between IHC indices and clinicopathological
characteristics in breast carcinomas.

Keywords: Brest cancer; Progesterone; Estrogen; Her2/neu

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