Prognostic significance of T-cell infiltrates, expression of beta 2-microglobulin and HLA-DR antigens in breast carcinoma

Pathol Res Pract. 1994 Dec;190(12):1134-40. doi: 10.1016/s0344-0338(11)80439-5.


In this study immunohistological staining was used to assess the presence of T-cell infiltrates and the expression of beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2-m) and HLA-DR antigens on tumor cells of 75 ductal invasive carcinomas. The results were compared with the morphometric prognostic index (MPI) that seems to be the most accurate prognostic predictor. The extent of T-cell infiltrates differed widely between tumors, but statistically significant correlation was found only with the lymph node status, namely, tumors with a high degree of infiltration had predominantly negative lymph nodes and vice versa (p < 0.05). Only 19 (25.3%) out of 75 carcinomas were beta 2-m+, 34 cases (45.3%) showed heterogeneous staining pattern and 22 tumors (29.3%) were completely negative. We could not find any significant correlation between beta 2-m expression and MPI or T-cell content. While normal breast epithelium was always HLA-DR negative, tumor cells displayed positivity in 25 cases (33.3%), 5 tumors (6.7%) were completely positive and 20 tumors (26.7%) displayed only focal expression of class II antigens. This expression did not correlate with any single prognostic parameter, nor with MPI. The results suggest that T-cell infiltrates and the expression of histocompatibility antigens can not be accepted as prognostic indicators in breast carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / physiology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prognosis
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / metabolism*


  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • beta 2-Microglobulin