S. Schulz, S. Schulz, J. Schmitt
Sep 1, 1998
Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
The long-acting somatostatin analogue octreotide (SMS 201-995) inhibits growth of certain breast cancer cell lines in vivo and in vitro. Because the antiproliferative action of octreotide depends on at least the presence of somatostatin receptors, it is crucial to determine the pattern of somatostatin receptor protein expression on the tumor cells. In the present study, we have raised polyclonal antibodies to somatostatin receptor subtypes (ssts) sst1, sst2A, sst2B, and sst3 using peptides corresponding to their COOH-terminal sequences. These antisera were used for immunocytochemical staining of paraffin sections of 33 primary breast cancers. Somatostatin receptor-like immunoreactivity (Li) was predominantly localized to the plasma membrane of the tumor cells. In the vast majority of positively stained tumors, somatostatin receptor-Li was uniformly present on nearly all tumor cells. Both the level and the pattern of expression of ssts varied greatly between individual carcinomas. sst2A-Li and/or sst2B-Li was detectable in 28 tumors (85%); among these, 14 tumors (42%) showed particularly high levels of sst2-Li. sst1-Li was found in 17 (52%) cases and sst3-Li in 16 (48%) cases. The expression of ssts was independent of patient age, menopausal status, diagnosis, histological grade, and levels of estrogen and progesterone receptors. The immunocytochemical determination of somatostatin receptor status allows direct detection of receptor protein on the tumor cells and, hence, may provide more precise information than reverse transcription-PCR for predicting response to octreotide therapy in breast cancer.