Immunohistochemical Expression of BRCA1 Protein, ER, PR and Her2/neu in Breast Cancer: A Clinicopathological Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 MBChB, FIBMS Pathology, Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

2 MBChB, PhD mol. Pathology/ UK, College of Medicine, Ninevah University, Baghdad , Iraq.

3 MBChB, FIBMS Pathology,Oncology Teaching Hospital, College of Medicine, University of Duhok, Baghdad , Iraq.

4 MBChB, CABS, General Surgeon, College of Medicine, Ninevah University, Baghdad, Iraq.

5 MBChB, FRCS, President of Nineveh University, Ninevah University, Baghdad , Iraq.

6 MD, FIBMS, Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Duhok, Baghdad, Iraq.


Breast cancer is a heterogeneous hormone-dependent disease. Potential prognosis depends on the clinicopathological evaluation and assessment of other prognostic indicators. The detection of the oestrogen Receptor (ER), Progesterone Receptor (PR), Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2/neu) and BRCA1 oncoprotein is pivotal for prognostic evaluation and to choose the appropriate post-surgical adjuvant therapy beside selecting the proper candidate for genetic counselling. Objectives: To detect the immunoexpression of the BRCA1 oncoprotein in mammary invasive ducal carcinoma and its association with the prognostic markers (ER, PR and Her2/neu hormonal receptors) and other clinicopathological parameters to improve the patients’ treatment plans. Methods: A cross-sectional study design including 83 paraffin blocks and histological slides collected from Al-Jumhoori Medical City Teaching Hospital Laboratory in Mosul and the Central Public Health Laboratory in Baghdad between the 1st of January 2010 to the 13th of March 2012 for patients diagnosed with primary invasive ductal breast carcinomas. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) using monoclonal antibodies against ER, PR, Her2/neu receptors and BRCA1 protein was performed via the fully automated immunostaining instrument ‘Ventana Benchmark’. Results: BRCA1 protein immunoexpression was detected in 20.5% of cases. It was significantly high with increasing tumour grade and stage. Although there was a trend of BRCA1 negativity toward negative ER, PR and Her2 receptors, no significant associations were observed with any of these parameters and the patients’ age. Conclusion: Altered BRCA1 expression is significantly associated with advanced tumour grade and stage. High number of cases with negative BRCA1 expression showed negative ER, PR and Her2/neu expression.


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