Virchows Archiv

, Volume 430, Issue 1, pp 23–28 | Cite as

E-Cadherin (E-cad) expression in duct carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast

  • S. K. Gupta
  • A. G. Douglas-Jones
  • B. Jasani
  • J. M. Morgan
  • M. Pignatelli
  • R. E. Mansel
Original Article


E-cadherin (E-cad) is an epithelial cell-cell adhesion molecule whose loss or reduced expression is associated with a more invasive tumour phenotype. Ninety-six cases of screen detected pure ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) were analysed immunocytochemically for expression of E-cad using the HECD-1 mouse monoclonal antibody. The in situ component in each case was classified on the basis of cytonuclear grade, extent of necrosis, Van Nuys classification and a newly devised Cardiff classification. The amount of E-cad expression was assessed semi-quantitatively using an intensity distribution method. There is significantly more expression of E-cad in well-differentiated DCIS when compared with poorly differentiated DCIS and this finding is highly significant (P<0.001) irrespective of the classification system used. These findings suggest that progressive loss of E-cad expression may occur at an early stage of breast cancer development.

Key words

Adhesion molecules E-cadherin Duct carcinoma of breast Breast 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Gupta
    • 1
  • A. G. Douglas-Jones
    • 2
  • B. Jasani
    • 2
  • J. M. Morgan
    • 2
  • M. Pignatelli
    • 3
  • R. E. Mansel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Wales College of MedicineCardiffUK
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of Wales College of MedicineCardiffUK
  3. 3.Department of Histopathology, Royal Postgraduate Medical SchoolHammersmith HospitalLondonUK

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