Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is known to be a causative factor in humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy. A polyclonal rabbit antiserum directed against the amino-terminal region of the protein and immunoperoxidase methods have been used to locate the presence of PTHrP in a series of 102 consecutive invasive breast tumors removed surgically from normocalcemic women. Positive PTHrP staining was detected in 60% of the tumors but not in the accompanying normal breast tissue. Positive staining was related to the progesterone receptor status of the tumor (P = 0.039) and to the prognostic index of the patient (P = 0.046) and not to estrogen receptor status, patient age, tumor size, histological grade, or nodal status.
Supported by Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and the McGauran Trust.