The transforming growth factor βs (TGF-β) comprise a family of Mr 25,000 pluripotent growth factors which have been implicated in the development and progression of human breast cancer. Conflicting data suggest that TGF-β has the potential to either inhibit or promote the progression of mammary neoplasia. We therefore examined a pathological library of malignant breast biopsy specimens to determine the prevalance and distribution of immunoreactivity with antibodies specific for the three mammalian isoforms of TGF-β (β1, β2, and β3). We found that intense staining for TGF-β1 was positively associated with rate of disease progression, and that this was independent of age, stage, nodal status, or estrogen receptor status (P = 0.009).
The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked advertisement in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.
This work was in part supported by the United States National Cancer Institute Grant CA23108.