Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 11–20

Immunolocalization of a human basal epithelium specific keratin in benign and malignant breast disease

  • Shahnaz Hashmi Dairkee
  • Britt Marie Ljung
  • Helene Smith
  • Adeline Hackett


This report describes the immunocytochemical localization of a human basal- or myoepithelial-specific antikeratin antibody in benign and malignant breast disease. Reactivity patterns with this antibody have demonstrated the lack of myoepithelial or basal epithelial participation in most benign breast specimens examined including those displaying cystic disease, fibrosis, or hyperplasia. However, in specimens of sclerosing adenosis, strong reactivity with the majority of cells in most ducts suggests a major participation of the myoepithelial cell type. Analysis of 118 breast carcinoma specimens has demonstrated strong, homogeneous reactivity in 4% of the specimens, suggesting a role for the basal epithelial cell in malignancy of the human mammary gland and implications for the prognosis of such tumors. Antigenic characterization of the malignant and benign mammary specimens which are uniformly reactive with the antibody has demonstrated the presence of a 51 kd keratin polypeptide not found in the non-reactive specimens.

Key words

benign breast disease immunocytochemistry keratin mammary carcinoma myoepithelium 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahnaz Hashmi Dairkee
    • 1
  • Britt Marie Ljung
    • 2
  • Helene Smith
    • 1
  • Adeline Hackett
    • 1
  1. 1.Peralta Cancer Research InstituteOaklandUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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