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Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 261–270 | Cite as

ErbB-2 protein in sera and tumors of breast cancer patients

  • Brenda Breuer
  • Steven Smith
  • Ann Thor
  • Susan Edgerton
  • Michael P. Osborne
  • Richard Minick
  • Hiram S. CodyIII
  • Eugene Nowak
  • Armand Cortese
  • Rache M. Simmons
  • Walter P. Carney
  • Paul W. Brandt-Rauf
Article

Abstract

We compared levels of erbB-2 oncoprotein among three groups: Group I included 60 asymptomatic women; Group II had 51 women with benign breast biopsies; and Group III had 67 women with node-negative breast cancer. Serological levels of erbB-2 protein were measured in all participants; tumor levels were measured for Groups II and III. Forty-three percent of usable tumors (25/58), including three of seven lobular tumors, were erbB-2 positive. Tumor and blood oncoprotein levels were unrelated. Blood levels, however, were positively related to tumor volume, but only when the tumor had both a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) component and an invasive component, suggesting a role for erbB-2 protein in progression of DCIS to invasive carcinoma. In Groups I and II serological levels of erbB-2 protein were directly related to age, and inversely related to having had a live birth. Therefore, a model that determined the threshold levels of serological erbB-2 positivity in Group III included age and nulliparity as independent variables. Only three of the 67 women (4.5%) in Group III were positive for serological erbB-2. In a multivariate model, with serological erbB-2 as the dependent variable, and in which the independent variables included Study Group, there was a statistical trend for younger women, in which Group III had the highest serological levels of erbB-2, followed by Group II, and then Group I. In women who were over the age of 50 years the trend was reversed; i.e., levels of erbB-2 tended to be lowest in Group III, followed by Group II, and finally Group I.

erbB-2 protein serum tumor age nulliparity 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brenda Breuer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Steven Smith
    • 3
  • Ann Thor
    • 4
  • Susan Edgerton
    • 4
  • Michael P. Osborne
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard Minick
    • 2
  • Hiram S. CodyIII
    • 2
    • 5
  • Eugene Nowak
    • 2
  • Armand Cortese
    • 2
  • Rache M. Simmons
    • 1
    • 2
  • Walter P. Carney
    • 6
  • Paul W. Brandt-Rauf
    • 3
  1. 1.The Strang Cancer Prevention CenterNew York
  2. 2.The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical CenterNew York
  3. 3.Columbia University, School of Public HealthNew York10032
  4. 4.Evanston HospitalEvanston
  5. 5.the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Oncogene ScienceCambridge

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