Protein expression and molecular analysis of c-myc gene in primary breast carcinomas using immunohistochemistry and differential polymerase chain reaction.

Rakesh Naidu, Norhanom Abdul Wahab, Manmohan Yadav, Methil Kannan Kutty

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Abstract

Overexpression of c-myc protein and amplification of c-myc were investigated by immunohistochemistry and differential polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) in 440 formalin-fixed primary breast carcinoma tissues, respectively. Overexpression of c-myc was detected in 45% (199/440) and amplification of c-myc was observed in 25% (112/440) of the primary breast carcinomas. Immunolocalization of c-myc oncoprotein was demonstrated in 35% (8/23) of the comedo subtype, 17% (3/18) of the non-comedo subtype, 37% (15/41) of the comedo DCIS and 49% (20/41) of the adjacent invasive ductal carcinomas, 21% (4/19) of the non-comedo DCIS and 37% (7/19) of the adjacent invasive lesions, 49% (133/270) of the invasive ductal carcinomas, 33% (11/33) of the invasive lobular carcinomas, 29% (6/21) of the colloid carcinomas and 47% (7/15) of the medullary carcinomas. C-myc was amplified in 13% (3/23) of the comedo DCIS, 17% (7/41) of the comedo DCIS and 24% (10/41) of the adjacent invasive ductal carcinomas, 30% (82/270) of the invasive ductal carcinomas, 21% (7/33) of the invasive lobular carcinomas, 14% (3/21) of the colloid carcinomas and 24% (4/15) of the medullary carcinomas. Amplification of c-myc was noted in 16% (3/9) of the invasive ductal carcinomas but not in the adjacent non-comedo DCIS lesions. A significant association (P<0.05) was observed between in situ components and adjacent invasive lesions for c-myc expression and amplification. Overexpression of c-myc protein was significantly correlated with poorly differentiated (P<0.05) and high proliferation index (Ki-67) (P<0.05) tumors but not with lymph node metastases (P>0.05), patient age (P>0.05) and estrogen receptor status (P>0.05). Significant relationship was also noted between amplification of c-myc and absence of estrogen receptor (P<0.05), high histological grade (P<0.05) and high proliferation index (Ki-67) (P<0.05). No relationship was seen with nodal status (P>0.05) and patient age (P>0.05). Majority of the Malaysian female patients are from younger age group (<50 years old) but overexpression and amplification of c-myc was not statistically associated with patient age (P>0.05) indicating that these alterations may be independent events of patient age. The above observations suggest that overexpression and amplification of c-myc could play an important role in tumor progression from non-invasive to invasive and, also, it may have the potential as a marker of poor prognosis of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Medicine
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes

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