Relationship between erb-B2 mRNA Expression in Blood and Tissue of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer Patients and Clinicopathological Characteristics of the Tumors


Molecular detection methods such as RT-PCR for detecting breast cancer associated gene expression in the peripheral blood have the potential to modify breast cancer (BC) staging and therapy. In this regard, we evaluated the potential of erb-B2 molecular marker in BC detection and analyzed the expression of erb-B2 mRNA in the peripheral blood and fresh tissue samples of 50 pretreated female BC patients and 50 healthy females by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) method. We also assessed the correlation of erb-B2 mRNA marker positivity in peripheral blood and tumor tissue samples with clinical and pathological factors in BC patients in order to evaluate its prognostic value. It was shown that there is a significant difference between healthy females and BC patients with expression of the erb-B2 molecular marker (p<0.01). A significant difference between the expression of erb-B2 in the peripheral blood and tissue samples of BC patients (p<0.01) and the frequency of circulating erb-B2 mRNA expression in peripheral blood and in tissue was detected by RT PCR. No correlation was found between erb-B2 mRNA expression in blood or tumor tissue samples and lymph node, tumor grade, tumor stage, tumor size, patient’s age, ki67, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PGR), P53, and HER-2 status. However, in a small subset of 31 BC patients we found that expression of erb-B2 in peripheral blood or in both peripheral blood and tumor tissue was directly correlated with lympho-vascular invasion and perineural invasion as poor prognostic features. The highest rates of erb-B2 expression in peripheral blood or tumor tissue were in the ER and PR negative and HER-2 positive group. This study suggests that the application of the RT-PCR and immunohistochemical methods for erb-B2 molecular marker detection would provide a higher detection rate, especially in early stage BC.