Distribution of hsp-27 and HER-2/neu in in situ and invasive ductal breast carcinomas

F. Kristian Storm*, Kennedy W. Gilchrist, Thomas F C S Warner, David M. Mahvi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: The overexpression of heat shock protein 27 (hsp-27) in early-stage breast cancer is associated with histopathologic features of poor prognosis and clinically with an increased probability of disease recurrence. Hsp-27 is overexpressed in 25% of invasive ductal carcinomas (IDC); however, its distribution in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and DCIS associated with IDC has not been investigated. We postulated that hsp-27 might be detected and variably expressed in DCIS and, like HER-2/neu oncoprotein expression, might be a tumor-specific marker worthy of future clinical investigation. Methods: To test these hypotheses, the distribution of hsp-27 in noncomedo and comedo DCIS, and DCIS associated with IDC, was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and compared with HER-2/neu expression within the same cancers. Results: Hsp-27 was overexpressed in 28 of 47 (∼60%) cases of DCIS; expression in pure DCIS was 16 of 24 (67%), and 12 of 23 (∼50%) in DCIS associated with IDC. Hsp-27 expression by in situ and invasive components of the same neoplasm were concordant in 22 of 23 (∼95%) cases tested. Comedo variants appeared to have somewhat higher hsp-27 expression than noncomedo DCIS, whether or not there was an associated IDC. These results are reminiscent of HER-2/neu oncoprotein expression in DCIS and DCIS associated with IDC observed by others. However, although 4 of 22 (18%) cancers containing DCIS + IDC expressed HER-2/neu, no relationship with hsp-27 expression in the same cancers was observed. Conclusions: We found a high incidence of hsp-27 overexpression in DCIS and in DCIS associated with IDC. This rate is twice that previously observed in IDC alone. Hsp-27 expression is independent of HER-2/neu expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • DCIS
  • HER-2/neu
  • Heat shock protein
  • Hsp-27
  • In situ breast caner

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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