Tumor microenvironment in invasive lobular carcinoma: possible therapeutic targets

Saki Nakagawa, Yasuhiro Miki, Minoru Miyashita, Shuko Hata, Yayoi Takahashi, Yoshiaki Rai, Yasuaki Sagara, Yasuyo Ohi, Hisashi Hirakawa, Kentaro Tamaki, Takanori Ishida, Mika Watanabe, Takashi Suzuki, Noriaki Ohuchi, Hironobu Sasano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Invasive ductal and lobular carcinomas (IDC and ILC) are the two most common histological types of breast cancer, and have been considered to develop from terminal duct lobular unit but their molecular, pathological, and clinical features are markedly different between them. These differences could be due to different mechanisms of carcinogenesis and tumor microenvironment, especially cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) but little has been explored in this aspect. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the status of angiogenesis, maturation of intratumoral microvessels, and proliferation of CAFs using immunohistochemistry and PCR array analysis to explore the differences of tumor microenvironment between ILC and IDC. We studied grade- and age-matched, luminal-like ILC and IDC. We immunolocalized CD34 and αSMA for an evaluation of CAFs and CD31, Vasohibin-1, a specific marker of proliferative endothelial cells and nestin, a marker of pericytes for studying the status of proliferation and maturation of intratumoral microvessel. We also performed PCR array analysis to evaluate angiogenic factors in tumor stromal components. The number of CAFs, microvessel density, and vasohibin-1/CD31 positive ratio were all significantly higher in ILC than IDC but nestin immunoreactivity in intratumoral microvessel was significantly lower in ILC. These results did indicate that proliferation of CAFs and endothelial cells was more pronounced in ILC than IDC but newly formed microvessels were less mature than those in IDC. PCR array analysis also revealed that IGF-1 expression was higher in ILC than IDC. This is the first study to demonstrate the differences of tumor microenvironment including CAFs and proliferation and maturation of intratumoral vessels between ILC and IDC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1


  • Cancer-associated fibroblasts
  • Insulin-like growth factor-1
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma
  • Microvessel density
  • Nestin
  • Vasohibin-1 positive ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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