Monoclonal antibodies to antigens abnormally expressed in breast cancer.
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We report the production, screening, and characterization of ten murine monoclonal antibodies directed at antigens that are expressed abnormally in human breast tumors. Immunoperoxidase staining of frozen and fixed tissues shows the antigens to be present at low levels on the luminal membrane of normal breast cells and at high levels in the cytoplasm and surface membrane of breast tumor cells. The ten antibodies appear to recognize six different epitopes on the basis of their quantitative differences in reactivity against four antigen preparations, as measured by ELISA. Immunoblots show that eight of the ten antibodies recognize a 300,000 MW molecule from breast tumor preparations; six of these antibodies also react with a second molecule from the same tumor preparations of 280,000 MW. Seven antibodies react with an antigen from milk fat globule membrane of 330,000 MW. It therefore appears that the two molecules from tumor tissue and the one molecule from normal tissue share common epitopes. Selected antibodies were tested for reactivity against 25 primary breast tumors and 14 pairs of primary and metastatic breast tumors. Three antibodies have broad reactivity and stain more than 80% of primary tumors; the three other antibodies identify subsets of those tumors. Results of staining pairs of primary and metastatic lesions show that metastases continue to express antigens of the primary lesion in a high percentage of cells.
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