Tumor Biology

Tumor Biology 
Quantitation of c-erbB-2 gene amplification in breast cancer tissue by competitive PCR

Okuyama N, Hatano Y, Park Y, Shimatani S, Sasamoto S, Katou N, Takagi K, Yamazaki S, Inoue A, Hemmi H, Shimatake H, Yanagida M, Miura M
Department of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, Toho University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. okuyama@med.toho-u.ac.jp

Controversy exists regarding the relationship of the degree of c-erbB-2 amplification to other prognostic factors in breast cancer. To determine the degree of amplification of c-erbB-2 exactly, a sensitive and quantitative method is required. We have developed a competitive PCR method to quantitatively determine the amplification of the c-erbB-2 oncogene. Using this method, we evaluated DNA from 27 breast cancer tissue specimens and DNA from peripheral blood leukocytes from a normal individual. Regarding the relationship between the degree of c-erbB-2 amplification and clinicopathological factors, we found a greater degree of amplification of the c-erbB-2 oncogene in estrogen receptor-negative or progesterone receptor-negative specimens than in positive ones and in lymph node metastasis-positive specimens than in negative specimens, in stages II, III, and IV of disease compared with stage I disease, and in samples with positive lymphatic vessel invasion than with no lymphatic vessel invasion. Generally, these factors were seen in the group of patients who had a bad prognosis. By univariate analysis and multivariate analysis, reverse correlation was observed between amplification of c-erbB-2 and overall survival. Regarding disease-free survival, these relationships were observed only with univariate analysis in our group of patients. PMID: 10213923, UI: 99234304

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