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Breast cancer, adhesion molecule, CD44, immunohistochemistry, clinical significance

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Objectives: To evaluate levels of CD44 standard variant (CD44s), CD44 variant exon 3 (CD44v3) and CD44 variant exon 6 (CD44v6) protein in breast cancer tissue, and investigate their relationships with clinicopathological characteristics of the disease.

Methods: Immunohistochemistry for CD44s, CD44v3 and CD44v6 was retrospectively performed on formalin-fixed paraffin wax-embedded breast cancer tissue samples.

Results: Tumour tissue samples from 60 patients with breast cancer were included. There was a significant relationship between CD44s positivity and tumour diameter and lymph node involvement. CD44v6 positivity was significantly associated with tumour–node–metastasis (TNM) stage and lymph node involvement. There were significant negative correlations between CD44s immunopositivity, tumour diameter and TNM stage, and significant positive correlations between CD44v6 immunopositivity, tumour diameter and TNM stage.

Conclusions: CD44s and CD44v6 appear to play opposing roles in the development of breast cancer, but their precise functions and mechanisms of action remain unclear.

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Journal of International Medical Research, v. 43, issue 2, p. 173-179