Purpose: To investigate the proportion of breast cancers arising inpatients with germ line BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations expressing basal markers and developing predictive tests for identification of high-risk patients.
Experimental Design: Histopathologic material from 182 tumors in BRCA1 mutation carriers, 63 BRCA2 carriers, and 109 controls, collected as part of the international Breast Cancer Linkage Consortium were immunohistochemically stained for CK14, CK5/6, CK17, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and osteonectin.
Results: All five basal markers were commoner in BRCA1 tumors than in control tumors (CK14: 61% versus 12%; CK5/6: 58% versus 7%; CK17: 53% versus 10%; osteonectin: 43% versus 19%; EGFR: 67% versus 21%; P < 0.0001 in each case). In a multivariate analysis, CK14, CK5/6, and estrogen receptor (ER) remained significant predictors of BRCA1 carrier status. In contrast, the frequency of basal markers in BRCA2 tumors did not differ significant from controls.
Conclusion: The use of cytokeratin staining in combination with ER and morphology provides a more accurate predictor of BRCA1 mutation status than previously available, that may be useful in selecting patients for BRCA1 mutation testing. The high percentage of BRCA1 cases positive for EGFR suggests that specific anti-tyrosine kinase therapy may be of potential benefit in these patients.
- invasive ductal carcinomas
- gene-expression profiles
- central acellular zones
- myoepithelial cells
- prognostic markers