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The discordance between primary breast cancer lesions and pulmonary metastatic lesions in expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1-positive cancer cells

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We evaluated the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) between primary breast lesions and pulmonary metastatic (PM) lesions in breast cancer patients.


We retrospectively analyzed the clinicopathological features and the expression statuses of ER, PR, HER2, Ki-67 and ALDH-1 in both primary and metastatic breast cancer lesions and evaluated the discordance rates in the expressions of these markers between the primary and metastatic lesions, and also the prognostic value of these factors.


None of the PM patients had metastases at any other sites, and all had undergone curative breast cancer surgery. The pulmonary operation was partial resection in 15 (88 %) patients and lobectomy in 2 (12 %) patients. The median overall survival (OS) after resection of the PNs (OS) was 48 months. The discordance rates in the expressions of ER, PR, HER2, Ki67 and ALDH-1 between the primary and metastatic lesions were 0, 29, 21, 43 and 50 %, respectively.


There was significant discordance in the biomarkers between the primary tumors and the metastatic lesions.

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All authors have no employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, or grants or other funding to disclose.

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Correspondence to Tomohiro Nogami.

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Nogami, T., Shien, T., Tanaka, T. et al. The discordance between primary breast cancer lesions and pulmonary metastatic lesions in expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1-positive cancer cells. Breast Cancer 21, 698–702 (2014).

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