Profile of Steroid Receptors and Increased Aromatase Immunoexpression in Canine Inflammatory Mammary Cancer as a Potential Therapeutic Target

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ContentsCanine inflammatory mammary cancer (IMC) has been proposed as a model for the study of human inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). The aims of this study were to compare the immunohistochemical expression of aromatase (Arom) and several hormone receptors [estrogen receptor α (ERα), estrogen receptor β (ERβ), progesterone receptor (PR) and androgen receptor (AR)], in 21 IMC cases vs 19 non-IMC; and to study the possible effect of letrozole on canine IMC and human inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in vitro using IPC-366 and SUM-149 cell lines. Significant elevations of the means of Arom Total Score (TS), ERβ TS and PR TS were found in the IMC group (p = 0.025, p = 0.038 and p = 0.037, respectively). Secondary IMC tumours expressed higher levels of Arom than primary IMC (p = 0.029). Non-IMC PR- tumours contained higher levels of Arom than non-IMC PR+ tumours (p = 0.007). After the addition of letrozole, the number of IMC and IBC cells dropped drastically. The overexpression of Arom found and the results obtained in vitro further support canine IMC as a model for the study of IBC and future approaches to the treatment of dogs with mammary cancer, and especially IMC, using Arom inhibitors.

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