Immunohistologic analysis of invasive phenotype in breast carcinoma: A clinicopathologic study

D. W. Visscher, F. H. Sarkar, W. Sakr, J. Crissman

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8 Scopus citations


Acetone-fixed, cryostat sections of 81 snap-frozen invasive breast carcinomas were immunostained with monoclonal antibodies to Cathepsin D (CD), a protease believed to mediate extracellular matrix dissolution, and Type IV collagen, a constituent of basal lamina (BL). Most cases (48/81, 53 %) exhibited focal, patchy BL distribution (1 +) around tumor cell nests, although subsets with diffuse continuous (2 +) peritumoral sheets (15/81,19 %) or nearcomplete absence (0 +, 23/81, 28 %) were also observed. Elaboration of BL was correlated with favorable morphologic differentiation (0+ BL - 57 % poorly differentiated vs. 2+ BL - 13 % poorly differentiated, p = .01), absence of nodal or systemic metastases (0+ BL - 78 % metastatic vs. 2+ BL - 40 % metastatic, p = .02), and improved disease-free survival (0+ BL - 63 % recurred vs. 2+ BL -s 20 % recurred, p = .05). In addition, neoplastic cells expressed CD more frequently in tumors which lacked detectable BL synthesis (0+ BL - 91 % CD+ vs. 2+ BL - 57% CD+, P = .03). The observed relationships between morphologic growth pattern, BL synthesis and CD expression imply conventional grading in large parts reflects activity or extent of host tissue invasion by a given neoplasm. Widespread but heterogeneous distribution of BL in breast tumors also suggests partial equilibrium between neoplastic and host tissues in most cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-872
Number of pages6
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1993


  • Basal lamina
  • Breast carcinoma
  • Cathepsin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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