Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 158, Issue 6, pp 137–140 | Cite as

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

  • A. McCann
  • P. A. Johnston
  • P. A. Dervan
  • W. J. Gullick
  • D. N. Carney


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.


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


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Copyright information

© Springer 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. McCann
    • 1
  • P. A. Johnston
    • 1
  • P. A. Dervan
    • 1
  • W. J. Gullick
    • 2
  • D. N. Carney
    • 3
  1. 1.The Departments of Medical Oncology and Pathology, Mater Misericordiae HospitalUniversity College DublinDublin 7
  2. 2.Imperial Cancer Research FundClinical Oncology Group, Hammersmith HospitalLondonEngland
  3. 3.Department of Medical OncologyMater Misericordiae HospitalDublin 7

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