Correlation of structural and functional data might lead to better identification of hormone-dependent tumors. Sixty breast cancer specimens, sent to the biochemistry laboratory for estrogen receptor (ER) analysis, were studied here by a combined morpho-functional approach. Histological examination of needle biopsies on frozen tissue blocks showed that 12 cases (10%) were free of tumor cells; these cases mostly proved ER negative. On the other 48 cases, an immunocytochemical reaction was performed on the biopsy sections with a monoclonal antibody directed against p 29, an estrogen receptor related antigen. The staining values for p 29 and the biochemical ER findings were significantly correlated. A combined histological, immunocytochemical study seems to offer advantages in the selection of patients for hormonal therapy.
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