Medical Oncology

, 34:156 | Cite as

A comparative study of Ki-67 antigen expression between luminal A and triple-negative subtypes of breast cancer

  • Umbelina Soares Borges
  • Danylo Rafhael Costa-Silva
  • João Paulo da Silva-Sampaio
  • Carla Solange Escórcio-Dourado
  • Airton Mendes CondeJr.
  • Viriato Campelo
  • Luiz Henrique Gebrim
  • Benedito Borges da SilvaEmail author
  • Pedro Vitor Lopes-Costa
Original Paper


Tumor biomarkers such as hormone receptors, HER-2 and Ki-67 are used routinely in clinical practice for classification of molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Cell proliferation evaluated by Ki-67 antigen expression is important to determine tumor aggressiveness. However, there is a paucity of studies comparing Ki-67 expression in an expressive number of cells among molecular subtypes of breast cancer, particularly among less and more aggressive tumors, such as luminal A and triple-negative, which have led us to the present study. The current study included invasive ductal carcinoma samples of 59 patients, which were divided into two groups: luminal A (n = 29) and triple-negative (n = 30). For immunohistochemical reaction, the samples were incubated with monoclonal anti-Ki-67 antibody (clone MIB1) and cells expressing Ki-67 protein were identified by dark brown staining of the nuclei, counting at least 600 cells per slide. The mean percentages of stained nuclei were analyzed by Student’s t test (p < 0.05). The mean percentage of nuclei stained with anti-ki-67 was 10.14 and 77.22 in luminal A and triple-negative breast cancers, respectively (p < 0.0001). Our study showed a high cell proliferation of triple-negative breast cancer in comparison with luminal A, justifying its aggressiveness and poor clinical outcome.


Breast cancer Molecular subtypes Luminal A Triple-negative Ki-67 



The authors thank the patients who participated in the current study and the Post-Graduation Program of the Federal University of Piauí, Brazil.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Piauı´ (Teresina, Brazil; Approval No. 43447015.8.0000.5214). All research is in compliance with the terms of the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umbelina Soares Borges
    • 1
  • Danylo Rafhael Costa-Silva
    • 2
  • João Paulo da Silva-Sampaio
    • 1
  • Carla Solange Escórcio-Dourado
    • 2
  • Airton Mendes CondeJr.
    • 1
  • Viriato Campelo
    • 1
  • Luiz Henrique Gebrim
    • 3
  • Benedito Borges da Silva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pedro Vitor Lopes-Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Postgaduate Program in Health SciencesFederal University of PiauiTeresinaBrazil
  2. 2.Postgraduate ProgramNortheast Biotechnology Network (Rede Nordeste de Biotecnologia-RENORBIO)TeresinaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of MastologyFederal University of Sao PauloSao PauloBrazil

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