We measured, by immunohistochemistry, HMGA1 protein expression in 212 breast tissue specimens: 6 normal samples, 28 hyperplastic lesions (13 with cellular atypia), 11 fibroadenomas, 10 in situ ductal carcinomas, 144 ductal carcinomas, and 13 lobular carcinomas. HMGA1 was not expressed in normal breast tissue; HMGA1 staining was intense in 40% of hyperplastic lesions with cellular atypia and in 60% of ductal carcinomas and weak in fibroadenomas and in hyperplastic lesions without cellular atypia. Because HMGA1 expression was similar among ductal breast carcinomas with different histologic grading, we evaluated the association between HMGA1 expression and that of other markers of breast carcinoma invasion (estrogen and progesterone receptors, Ki-67 antigen, and ErbB2) in 21 cases of grade 3 breast ductal carcinomas and 7 cases of breast lobular carcinomas. We found that HMGA1 expression tended to be associated only with c-erbB-2 expression (Spearman rho: 0.36; P=0.065). Taken together, these results suggest that HMGA1 expression might be a novel indicator for the diagnosis and prognosis of human breast cancer.
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