Progressive Deregulation of the Cell Cycle With Higher Tumor Grade in the Stroma of Breast Phyllodes Tumors


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Abstract

We studied cell cycle–regulating proteins in phyllodes tumor pathogenesis by immunohistochemical analysis for Ki-67, cyclin A, cyclin D1, retinoblastoma protein (pRb), p53, p16INK4A, bcl-2, and p21waf1 in the epithelium and stroma of 40 primary (benign, 21; borderline, 8; malignant, 11) and 7 recurrent tumors of different grades.In most cases, the epithelium showed no altered expression of cell cycle regulators. Stromal overexpression of p16INK4A, p53, cyclin A, pRb, and p21waf1 correlated significantly with tumor grade. The number of altered proteins in stroma increased with higher grade and was accompanied by increased proliferation. Stromal cyclin A expression was the best separating marker between tumor grades. Correlations existed between stromal overexpression of p16INK4A and p21waf1, p16INK4A and p53, and p53 and pRb. No immunostaining differences were detected between primary tumors and recurrences. Four or more altered proteins and p53 expression in the stromal component were independent negative prognosticators for disease-free survival.The stromal component of mammary phyllodes tumors displays an increasing level of cell cycle deregulation with higher tumor grade; the epithelial compartment mostly remains inconspicuous. Several combinations of aberrantly expressed cell cycle proteins seem important in the stromal progression of phyllodes tumors. The number of stromal cell cycle aberrations and stromal p53 expression might predict clinical behavior.

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