Prediction of prognosis in primary breast cancer by detection of a high molecular weight mucin-like antigen using monoclonal antibodies DF3, F36/22, and CU18: A cancer and leukemia group B study
Three monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) (DF3, F36/22, CU18) were used to monitor expression of distinct epitopes present within a family of mucin-like, breast carcinoma-associated molecules. Primary tumor specimens from more than 190 stage II breast cancer patients were evaluated for expression of the high molecular weight antigens. With a median follow-up of 6 years, patients whose tumors exhibited high immunoperoxidase staining scores (greater than 50% positive cells) with MAb DF3 had a superior disease-free survival ([DFS] 56% +/- 6% v 37% +/- 5% at 6 years; P = .0088) and overall survival ([OS] 72% +/- 5% v 59% +/- 5% at 6 years; P = .025). Staining scores with the other two antibodies did not correlate with improved prognosis. For MAbs DF3 and CU18, patients whose tumors exhibited predominantly apical cellular reactivity patterns had improved DFS, although differences reached conventional levels of statistical significance only with MAb CU18. In multivariate analyses, the prognostic value of MAb DF3 staining was independent of other identified prognostic factors. Furthermore, the concordance between primary and axillary lymph node metastases staining with each MAb was 73%, 80%, and 85% for MAbs DF3, F36/22, and CU18, respectively. These results suggest that staining with MAb DF3 identifies a group of node-positive women with a relatively favorable prognosis. Expression of the DF3 mucin-like glycoprotein is related to better differentiation, and staining with MAb DF3 provides an accurate and objective estimate of clinical outcome independent of histopathologic evaluation.