The expression of GHRH and its receptors in breast carcinomas with apocrine differentiation—further evidence of the presence of a GHRH pathway in these tumors

Bence Kővári, Semir Vranic, Caterina Marchio, Anna Sapino, Gábor Cserni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Apocrine breast carcinomas were evaluated for the expression of components of the growth hormone–releasing hormone (GHRH) autocrine/paracrine pathway: GHRH and its receptors (GHRH-R), as mammary apocrine carcinomas and epithelium seemed to be uniformly positive for GHRH-R in a pilot study. The apocrine phenotype was determined on the basis of hematoxylin–eosin morphology and a congruent immunohistochemical profile (estrogen receptor negativity, androgen receptor and gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 positivity). Thirty-five formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded apocrine breast cancers in tissue microarrays and 24 cases using whole-tissue sections were evaluated for GHRH-R and GHRH expression by immunohistochemistry using polyclonal antibodies raised against various domains of GHRH-R and one polyclonal antibody specific for GHRH. GHRH-R positivity was detected in the overwhelming majority (ranging from 90% to 100%) of apocrine breast carcinomas with all but one of the antibodies applied. The expression was usually diffuse with only isolated cases showing positivity in less than 50% of tumor cells. With the PA5–33583 antibody, GHRH-R positivity was seen only in 73% of the cases in at least 50% of the tumor cells. GHRH expression was also present in all but one case tested, with more than 50% of the cells expressing it in 30/34 cases. These results support a high rate of GHRH-R and GHRH expression in apocrine breast carcinomas. Whether these findings can be exploited for the targeted treatment of apocrine breast carcinomas with GHRH antagonists requires further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Volume64
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Apocrine carcinoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Growth hormone–releasing hormone receptor
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Targeted therapy
  • Triple-negative breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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