Flow Cytometry for Quantification of Biomarker Expression Patterns

The established method in prognosis of breast cancer includes detection of molecular markers, such as the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER-2/neu. These markers are routinely checked via immunohistochemistry (IHC). HER-2/neu is also detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Flow cytometric analysis can provides quantitative data on expression patterns of important prognostic markers in breast cancer and has been used for the detection of ER, PR, HER-2/neu, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and E-cadherin. Currently, EGFR and E-cadherin are not standard predictive factors in determining survival of breast cancer patients, but both may be beneficial for determining prognosis in the future. Cells undergoing flow cytometric analysis lose marker expression with increasing number of passages. The highest expression is found at cells passaged 0-1 times. ER, PR, and HER-2/neu marker expressions in 5 out of 5 cell lines were consistent with established expression patterns. EGFR and E-cadherin expression in 4 out of 5 cell lines are also consistent with established expression patterns.

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