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Wang Y , Ylera F , Boston M , Kang SG , Kutok JL , Klein-Szanto AJP , Junghans RP
Focused antibody response in plasma cell-infiltrated non-medullary (NOS) breast cancers
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2007 Aug;104(2) :129-144
AbstractBreast tumors with prominent plasma cell (PC) infiltrates often have a more favorable natural course that may plausibly be mediated by anti-tumor activity of the elicited antibodies. These breast tumor-associated PCs are typically IgG dominant in contrast to normal breast PCs, which are mainly IgA. It is our hypothesis that this PC infiltration represents a host immune response that is driven by one or more tumor antigens. Previously, we and others showed that medullary carcinoma (MC) had a focused repertoire and features suggestive of a protein antigen driven response. Infrequently, non-MC, not otherwise specified (NOS) breast tumors may exhibit heavy PC infiltrations, also of IgG isotype. In this first characterization of this favorable prognosis NOS subgroup, IgG heavy chain (Hc) and light chain (Lc) variable (V) regions from three PC-infiltrated NOS tumors were randomly cloned and sequenced. We found biased (V) gene usage by the infiltrating PCs and somatic hypermutation in the rearranged Ig Hc and Lc V regions that were compatible with antigenic selection of the progenitor B cells. The antibody response of NOS infiltrated breast cancer is repertoire-focused, with 13-68% of isolates being clonally reiterated in the samples. Each NOS patient used distinct Hc V-D-J and Lc V-J rearrangements, with her own immune response "footprint," but the overall pattern of gene usage followed that typical of exogenous antigen-induced immune responses. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that PC infiltrates infrequently arising in NOS tumors, as previously inferred for MC, are in response to one or more breast cancer-associated protein tumor antigens.