Prognostic evaluation of breast cancer in cytologic specimens

Geula Klorin, Ruth Keren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate prognostic factors in breast cancer using cytologic samples and to determine the correlation between those factors and ploidy. STUDY DESIGN: Two hundred sixteen fine needle aspirates from patients with primary breast cancer were analyzed for expression of estrogen receptors (ERs), progesterone receptors (PRs), Ki-67 antigen, expression of p53 tumor suppressor gene and overexpression of c-erbB-2 using a standard immunochemical method. Not all subjects had all biomarker information because of the study design (c-erbB2 added later). The specimens were analyzed also for ploidy. We used the SAMBA 4000 image analysis system for quantification of the percent of cells stained positively by the different immunocytochemical stains and for ploidy. RESULTS: A significant correlation was found between ER and PR and between Ki-67 and positive p53. Steroid receptor content was not significantly related to p53, Ki-67 or c-erbB2. No correlation was found between c-erbB2 and the other biomarkers. Ploidy had a significant correlation with all the biomarkers used. CONCLUSION: A reliable and rapid evaluation of markers for breast cancer can be achieved by measuring cells stained positively by immunocytochemical stains, as well as ploidy, by means of an image analysis system. ER, PR Ki-67, p53 and c-erbB2 had a significant correlation with ploidy and overall prognostic value in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalAnalytical and Quantitative Cytology and Histology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Ki-67 antigen
  • Progesterone receptors
  • Prognosis
  • c-erbB2
  • p53 genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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