Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 179–184 | Cite as

Analysis of estrogen and progesterone receptors on preoperative fine-needle aspirates

  • Barbara Frigo
  • Silvana Pilotti
  • Stefano Zurrida
  • Laura Ermellino
  • Antonia Manzari
  • Franco Rilke


For 56 cases of carcinoma of the breast, results of the immunocytochemical assay for estrogen and progesterone receptors performed on preoperative fine-needle aspirates were compared with those obtained on scraping material from the same tumors. The value and usefulness of this last analysis was demonstrated in a previous study.

The level of agreement between the two cytological techniques was assessed by the k statistic. A high level of agreement was found, with k values of 0.909 and 0.889 for estrogen and progesterone receptors, respectively.

The results reported here revealed the reliability of steroid receptor determination on fine-needle aspiration biopsies, provided that sufficient cellularity was available. This technique can replace the open biopsy procedure, inasmuch as it represents a rapid, almost painless, and easily repeated method for the assessment of the receptor status, and is useful for treatment decisions at any time during the course of the disease.

Key words

steroid receptors immunocytochemistry breast cancer fine needle aspiration 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Frigo
    • 1
  • Silvana Pilotti
    • 2
  • Stefano Zurrida
    • 2
  • Laura Ermellino
    • 3
  • Antonia Manzari
    • 3
  • Franco Rilke
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Anatomical Pathology and CytologyIstituto Nazionale TumoriMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryIstituto Nazionale TumoriMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Division of Medical Statistics and BiometryIstituto Nazionale TumoriMilanoItaly

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