HLA and prognostic factors in primary breast cancer

R. V. Iaffaioli, M. Maio, G. Ruggiero, M. De Felice, A. Ungaro, L. Del Vecchio, G. B. Rosato, A. R. Bianco, S. Zappacosta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A group of 157 women with primary breast cancer (BC) were typed for HLA antigens, and gene frequencies to those of 327 control healthy individuals. Diagnosis of BC was made for all patients on surgical mastectomy specimens; histologic grading, estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PgR) receptors were determined on all primary tumors. Typed antigens included the majority of the specificities controlled by the HLA-A, -B and -C loci, according to the 8th International Histocompatibility Testing Workshop recommendations. No significant discrepancy in their frequencies was found in the undivided sample as compared to controls. The analysis of HLA gene frequency was extended to subsets of patients identified by the following prognostic features: (a) age at tumor diagnosis (pre-menopause vs. post-menopause); (b) receptor status (presence vs. absence of ER and PgR); (c) mammary gland dysplasia (presence vs. absence); (d) histologic grade (grade 3 vs. grades 1 and 2 combined); (e) time to relapse before or after 24 months following mastectomy). A moderate deviation from normal of some genes was found in several subsets, often affecting only one of the antithetical subgroups (feature present vs. feature absent). In the instance of B5, the increase in frequency of the gene in one of the subset pair (ER + subjects) was balanced by a decreased of the same gene in the counterpart (ER-subjects). Increased frequencies were found for the B7 gene in the following prognostic groups: (a) lack of ER (0.08); (b) lack of PgR (0.09; (c) absence of mammary dysplasia (0.075); (d) histologic grade 3 (0.10); and (e) premenopause (0.12), the last two showing significant divergence from normal. When features (d) and (e) on the one hand and (a),(b),(d) and (e) on the other were combined, B7 reached frequencies of 0.18 (p <5 x 10-4) and of 0.29 (p <5 x 10-6), respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-585
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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