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Breast Cancer Research

, 7:P2.11 | Cite as

Identification of molecular apocrine breast tumours by microarray analysis

  • P Farmer
  • H Bonnefoi
  • V Becette
  • M Tubiana-Hulin
  • P Fumoleau
  • D Larsimont
  • G MacGrogan
  • J Bergh
  • D Cameron
  • D Goldstein
  • S Duss
  • A-L Nicoulaz
  • M Fiche
  • C Brisken
  • M Delorenzi
  • R Iggo
Poster Presentation

Keywords

Breast Cancer Estrogen Receptor Estrogen Receptor Alpha Mammary Tumour Cell Androgen Signalling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Previous microarray studies on breast cancer identified multiple tumour classes, of which the most prominent, named luminal and basal, differ in expression of the estrogen receptor alpha gene (ER). We report here the identification of a group of breast tumours with increased androgen signalling and a 'molecular apocrine' gene expression profile. Tumour samples from 49 patients with large operable or locally advanced breast cancers were tested on Affymetrix U133A gene expression microarrays. Principal components analysis and hierarchical clustering split the tumours into three groups: basal, luminal, and a group we call molecular apocrine. All of the molecular apocrine tumours have strong apocrine features on histological examination (P = 0.0002). The molecular apocrine group is androgen receptor-positive (AR+) and contains all of the ER-negative tumours outside the basal group. Kolmogorov-Smirnov testing indicates that oestrogen signalling is most active in the luminal group, and androgen signalling is most active in the molecular apocrine group. ERBB2 amplification is more common in the molecular apocrine group than the other groups. Genes that best split the three groups were identified by the Wilcoxon test. Correlation of the average expression profile of these genes in our data with the expression profile of individual tumours in four published breast cancer studies suggest that molecular apocrine tumours represent 8–14% of tumours in these studies. Our data show that it is possible with microarray data to divide mammary tumour cells into three groups based on steroid receptor activity: luminal (ER+ AR+), basal (ER-AR-) and molecular apocrine (ER- AR+).

Copyright information

© BioMed Central 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • P Farmer
    • 1
    • 2
  • H Bonnefoi
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • V Becette
    • 6
  • M Tubiana-Hulin
    • 6
  • P Fumoleau
    • 7
  • D Larsimont
    • 8
  • G MacGrogan
    • 9
  • J Bergh
    • 10
  • D Cameron
    • 11
  • D Goldstein
    • 1
    • 2
  • S Duss
    • 2
  • A-L Nicoulaz
    • 2
  • M Fiche
    • 12
  • C Brisken
    • 2
  • M Delorenzi
    • 1
    • 2
  • R Iggo
    • 2
  1. 1.Swiss Institute of BioinformaticsLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.National Centre of Competence in Research Molecular OncologySwiss Institute for Experimental Cancer ResearchEpalingesSwitzerland
  3. 3.Hôpitaux Universitaires de GenèveGenevaSwitzerland
  4. 4.Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer ResearchSt GallenSwitzerland
  5. 5.European Organization on Research and Treatment of CancerBrusselsBelgium
  6. 6.Centre René HugueninSt-CloudFrance
  7. 7.Centre René GauducheauNantesFrance
  8. 8.Institut Jules BordetBrusselsBelgium
  9. 9.Institut BergoniéBordeauxFrance
  10. 10.Swedish Breast Cancer GroupStockholmSweden
  11. 11.Anglo-Celtic Cooperative Oncology GroupEdinburghUK
  12. 12.Centre Hospitalier Universitaire VaudoisLausanneSwitzerland

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