Tenascin expression in primary and recurrent breast carcinomas

A-M Tõkés a, J Tóth b and J Kulkaa

a 2nd Department of Pathology, Semmelweis University Budapest, and b Pathology Department National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary

Aim: The expression and the distribution of tenascin-C (TN) were investigated in primary, second primary and recurrent breast carcinomas. Methods: To assess the TN expression, formalin fixed, paraffin embedded specimens of 62 primary consecutive cases of invasive ductal carcinoma and altogether 43 tumors of 20 specially selected breast cancer patients were examined using immunohistochemistry. Results: During a median follow-up of 2.9 years, 14 local recurrences, 6 second primary breast carcinomas and 3 second recurrences occurred. The stromal TN expression was focal in all cases. There was no difference in stromal TN expression between primary, second primary and recurrent tumors. TN was also observed in tumor cells: it is expressed in higher ratio in the specially selected group (7/20 primary tumors) compared to the non-selected invasive ductal carcinomas (10/62). TN positive tumor cells were mainly detected at the periphery of the tumor cell nests. Positive TN reaction was also seen around the tumor cell nests, around the ductal carcinoma in situ components of the invasive carcinomas, in the wall of small arteries and in 4 cases in the inner layer of the normal ductal epithelium. Conclusion: To our best knowledge there are no published data about the exact mechanism how TN influences tumor behavior. Higher ratio of TN positive cells in primary tumors with known recurrences, TN positive cells at the periphery of the tumor cell nests suggest that TN might be involved in tumor cell migration.

KEY WORDS: tenascin, breast cancer.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Diagnostic Markers.