Expression of Cancer/Testis genes in ductal carcinoma in situ and benign lesions of the breast

Otavia L. Caballero1,*, Sami Shousha2,*, Qi Zhao1, Andrew J.G. Simpson3,4, R. Charles Coombes2 and A. Munro Neville3

1 Ludwig Collaborative Laboratory, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Department of Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD USA

2 Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust & Imperial College, London, Charing Cross Hospital

3 Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, New York, NY., USA

4 Current affiliation: Orygen Biotecnologia, São Paulo, Brazil.

* These authors contributed equally to the study


Otavia L. Caballero, email:

Keywords: cancer/testis genes, DCIS, ER negative

Received: August 31, 2013 Accepted: December 10, 2013 Published: December 12, 2013


Cancer/testis (CT) genes represent a unique class of genes, which are expressed by germ cells, normally silenced in somatic cells, but activated in various cancers. CT proteins can elicit spontaneous immune responses in cancer patients and this feature makes them attractive targets for immunotherapy-based approaches. We have previously reported that CTs are relatively commonly expressed in estrogen receptor (ER) negative, high risk carcinomas. In this study, we examined the expression of selected CT genes in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) and benign proliferative lesions of the breast. ER negative DCIS were found to be associated with significant CT gene expression together with HER2 positivity and a marked stromal immune response

PII: 4