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Open Access Research article

Molecular portrait-based correlation between primary canine mammary tumor and its lymph node metastasis: possible prognostic-predictive models and/or stronghold for specific treatments?

Germana Beha1, Barbara Brunetti1, Pietro Asproni2, Luisa Vera Muscatello1, Francesca Millanta2, Alessandro Poli2, Giuseppe Sarli1* and Cinzia Benazzi1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolaradi Sopra 50, Ozzano Emilia, Bologna 40064, Italy

2 Department of Animal Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Pisa, Italy

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BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:219  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-219

Published: 12 November 2012

Abstract

Background

This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the molecular phenotype of the primary mammary tumor and its related lymph node metastasis in the dog to develop prognostic-predictive models and targeted therapeutic options.

Results

Twenty mammary tumor samples and their lymph node metastases were selected and stained by immunohistochemistry with anti-estrogen receptor (ER), -progesterone receptor (PR), -human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (c-erbB-2), -cytokeratin 5/6 (CK 5/6), -cytokeratin 14 (CK14), -cytokeratin 19 (CK 19) and -protein 63 (p63) antibodies. Four phenotypes (luminal A, luminal B, c-erbB2 overexpressing and basal-like) were diagnosed in primary tumors and five (luminal A, luminal B, c-erbB-2 overexpressing, basal-like and normal-like) in the lymph node metastases. Phenotypic concordance was found in 13 of the 20 cases (65%), and seven cases (35%) showed discordance with different lymph node phenotypic profile from the primary tumor.

Conclusions

The phenotype of the primary tumor assumes a predictive-therapeutic role only in concordant cases, meaning that both the primary tumor and its lymph node metastasis should be evaluated at the same time. A treatment plan based only on the primary tumor phenotype could lead to therapeutic failures if the phenotype of the lymph node metastasis differs from that of the primary tumor.

Keywords:
Dogs; Mammary tumors; Molecular phenotypes; Lymph node metastasis; Concordance; Discordance