The loss of intercellular adhesion molecules in breast cancer: Does it predict a poor prognosis?

Mahmoud Haj, Arkadi Rappaport, Anatoli Hiat, Norman Loberant, Isaac Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Intercellular adhesive molecules are essential for the integrity of body tissue. A tumor's potential for invasion and metastasis depends on the structural changes of those molecules through the mutations of tumor cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin in breast carcinoma, and its effect on the outcome and survival of patients. Material and Methods: Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of histological sections of different types of breast cancer for E-cadherin and β-catenin was performed in 88 breast tumors. Follow-up of the patients for a period of more than 5 years or until death was possible in all cases. Results: IHC staining for both E-cadherin and β-catenin was strongly positive in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Complete loss of expression was shown in 71% and 61% respectively, in infiltrating lobular carcinoma. Significant difference in loss of E-cadherin and/or β-catenin expression (p < 0.002) was found between grade 2 and grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), regardless of tumor size, status of axillary nodes, age, or ethnicity. Conclusions: The loss of expression of adhesive molecules is correlated with the grade of IDC tumors and the type of breast tumor, and it is not an indicator of prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-383
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesive molecules
  • Breast cancer
  • Expression
  • Prognosis


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