Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 267–274 | Cite as

Expression of mdr1 gene in human breast primary tumors and metastases

  • Elisabeth Hennequin
  • Chantal Delvincourt
  • Christiane Pourny
  • Jean-Claude Jardillier


Expression of mdr1 gene has been evaluated in 34 tumor samples obtained from breast cancer patients who were classified according to their treatment, and clinical follow-up. No gene amplification was found. mdr1-RNA was never detected in 29 primary breast tumors including 5 samples from patients previously treated by 6 courses of 5-fluorouracil, epirubicin, cyclophosphamide (FEC). On the other hand, mdr1-RNA expression was detected in 1 local recurrence and 2 out of 3 metastases, all of them being treated and exhibiting a poor evolution. A second, untreated local recurrence remained negative. Clinical follow-up for 7 to 48 months in patients receiving chemotherapy showed that absence of mdr1-RNA could not be an accurate factor of satisfactory response to chemotherapy. But, all the patients with detectable mdr1-RNA exhibited a poor evolution and response to treatment. In conclusion, evaluation of mdr1-RNA seemed to be of little interest in primary breast tumors. However, the concomitant presence of an mdr1-RNA and a metastatic phenotype could give a new insight into the relationship between invasive and resistance properties of cancer cells. Such situations would need to be analyzed very carefully for a better utilization of chemotherapy.

Key words

breast cancer chemotherapy metastasis multidrug resistance 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Hennequin
    • 1
  • Chantal Delvincourt
    • 1
  • Christiane Pourny
    • 2
  • Jean-Claude Jardillier
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de BiochimieGIBSAReims CédexFrance
  2. 2.Département de CliniqueInstitut Jean GodinotReims CédexFrance

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