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c-erbB-2 oncoprotein expression in malignant and nonmalignant breast tissue


Using a specific polyclonal antibody (21) to the c-erbB-2 oncoprotein, a total of 200 primary breast carcinomas of various histological types and 46 benign breast lesions, were immunohistochemically stained, to identify those tissues over-expressing this putative transmembrane receptor. Positivity for this oncoprotein was evident as an intense brown granular staining predominantly located at the cell membrane and was present in 17% (n=34) of the primary breast carcinomas investigated. With the exception of one case of apocrine metaplasia, none of the remaining benign breast samples (n=45) were positive for this oncoprotein. This study shows that overexpression of the c-erb B-2 oncoprotein is easily identifiable and can be detected on paraffin embedded sections using an immunohistochemical technique. The results obtained correlate well with other c-erbB2 detection systems and in addition, positivity for this oncoprotein is mostly confined to the malignant phenotype.

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Correspondence to A. McCann or P. A. Johnston or P. A. Dervan or W. J. Gullick or D. N. Carney.

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McCann, A., Johnston, P.A., Dervan, P.A. et al. c-erbB-2 oncoprotein expression in malignant and nonmalignant breast tissue. I.J.M.S. 158, 137–140 (1989).

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  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Gene
  • Primary Breast Carcinoma
  • Benign Breast Lesion