Expression of pepsinogen C in human breast tumours and correlation with clinicopathologic parameters

Br J Cancer. 1993 Sep;68(3):637-40. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1993.399.


We have examined by immunohistochemistry the ability of breast carcinomas to produce pepsinogen C, an aspartyl proteinase usually involved in the digestion of proteins in the stomach. A total of 113 out of 245 breast tumours (46%) were positive for pepsinogen C immunostaining. There was a significant association between pepsinogen C and oestrogen receptors with proteinase levels higher (HSCORE) in oestrogen receptor positive tumours than in oestrogen receptor negative. There was also a significant association between pepsinogen C and histological grade, pepsinogen C levels being higher in well and moderately differentiated breast carcinomas than in poorly differentiated tumours. On the basis of these results, we suggest that pepsinogen C may be useful as a marker of good prognosis in breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Pepsinogens / metabolism*
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis


  • Pepsinogens
  • Receptors, Estrogen