Aims: To investigate if the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) protein and the deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) protein expression can be demonstrated by an immuno-histochemical method and to study the role of APC and DCC gene inactivation in the development and progression of breast cancer using colorectal cancer as a control model.
Methods and results: The reduced or loss of protein expression of the APC and DCC genes was studied in 27 surgical specimens of primary breast cancer using an immunohistochemical method. Reduced or lost expression was identified in 11 out of 27 samples (40.7%) for the APC gene and 15 out of 27 samples (55.6%) for the DCC gene. No statistically significant difference was observed between the reduced or lost protein expression and the histological grading of breast tumour for both the APC and the DCC gene.
Conclusions: Both gene proteins can be demonstrated by the immunohistochemical method. Reduced or loss of APC and DCC gene product were observed in 40.7% and 55.6% cases of primary breast cancer respectively. Further work is required to investigate the significance of the finding.