Vol 43, No 2 (2005)
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Published online: 2011-08-22

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Maspin and c-erbB-2 expression in correlation with microvessel density in invasive ductal breast cancer

Mirosław Sopel, Izabela Kasprzyk, Izabela Berdowska
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2005;43(2):109-116.


Maspin is a unique member of the serpin family involved in regulation of cell migration, apoptosis and angiogenesis in breast and prostate cancers. In this study maspin expression in comparison with c-erbB-2 (HER2/neu) oncogene expression and microvessel density was investigated. The examined material included specimens of primary invasive ductal breast cancer derived from 69 patients. They were analyzed immunocytochemically to assess maspin and c-erbB-2 expression, as well as microvessel density using endothelium marker CD31. In the studied cancers, maspin expression in cancer cells was detected in more than half of the cases (50.73%). Although statistically insignificant (p=0.27), maspin expression showed decreasing tendency with the increase of tumor grade. C-erbB-2 oncogene expression was observed in 78.26% of the examined cancers. Statistically significant positive correlation was found between c-erbB-2 expression and tumor grade (p<0.005). Analysis of the dependence between maspin and c-erbB-2 expression exhibited statistically significant inverse correlation (p<0.001). Mean microvessel density (MVD) of the studied cancers was 71.64 (SD=19.36). MVD decreased with the increase of maspin expression, whereas in the cases showing c-erbB-2 overexpression MVD was clearly higher. Both correlations were statistically significant (p<0.005). In conclusion, it could be stated that increase in maspin expression is associated with weaker expression of c-erbB-2 oncogene and lower microvessel density, which implies a significant role of maspin in tumor biology. However, the exact mechanism of maspin action (including its potential role in angiogenesis), as well as the assessment of its prognostic significance in breast cancer require further studies

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