Preneoplastic lesions of the human mammary gland transplanted into the nude athymic mouse

Hanne M Jensen, S. R. Wellings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Morphologically normal lobules and atypical lobules postulated precancerous to ductal carcinoma were transplanted to test their biological behavior. Supravital staining disclosed the 1 to 4 mm microorgans. 'Cleared' mammary fat pads of nude mice were optimal transplantation sites. Of the total of 217 transplants from 19 cancer associated and 13 non cancer associated breasts, 151 survived after 2 to 27 wk. Of 61 surviving normal appearing lobules from cancer associated breasts transplanted without prior in vitro maintenance, 20 (30%) dedifferentiated, and of 48 surviving lobules from noncancerous breasts, 11 (20%) dedifferentiated. Fifteen of 28 histologically normal appearing lobules (60%) obtained from cancer associated breasts after age 50 dedifferentiated. Thirty of 36 atypical lobules isolated from the breast tissue were obtained from cancer associated breasts and the 5 of those that dedifferentiated came from cancer associated breasts. Twenty of 22 (90%) dedifferentiating transplants from cancer associated breasts showed a vascularization response, whereas 3 of 7 (43%) from non cancer associated breasts did so. If dedifferentiation in this experimental setting is indicative of a precancerous potential, the data on normal appearing lobules obtained from cancer associated breasts from women over age 50 suggest that these lobules carry the greatest precancerous potential. Such lobules probably belong to a type persisting after menopause and they may be hormonally autonomous. Such lobules might undergo further atypia in vivo and, eventually, cancerous transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2605-2610
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Volume36
Issue number7 II
StatePublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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