Aims: Loss of transforming growth factor beta type II receptor (TGFβ-RII) expression has been associated with resistance to TGFβ-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation and tumour progression. We investigated whether the expression of TGFβ-RII is related to the progression of human breast cancer and whether there is a correlation between TGFβ-RII expression and phenotypic markers of biological aggressiveness. Methods and results: Immunohistochemical methods were used to detect TGFβ-RII in archival breast samples including benign proliferative lesions, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive mammary carcinomas (IMC). Neoplastic cells showed reduced expression of TGFβ-RII in comparison to the normal breast tissue and benign lesions. There was a significant inverse correlation between loss of TGFβ-RII expression and tumour grade within both DCIS (P = 0.004) and IMC (P = 0.001) groups. There was an inverse correlation between TGFβ-RII expression and both mitotic count (P = 0.001) and clinical stage (P = 0.004). Oestrogen receptor (P = 0.07) and lymph node status (P = 0.10) were not significantly associated with TGFβ-RII expression. Conclusions: These data indicate that decreased expression of TGFβ-RII may contribute to breast cancer progression and is related to a more aggressive phenotype in both in-situ and invasive carcinomas.
- Benign breast disease
- Ductal carcinoma in situ
- Invasive mammary carcinoma
- Transforming growth factor β receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine