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The sodium iodide symporter (NIS) mediates iodide transport into cells and has been identified in approximately 70% of breast cancers. Functional NIS expression raises the possibility of using (131)I for therapeutic targeting of tumor cells. Treatment of triple-negative breast cancers [estrogen/progesterone receptor-negative and HER2-negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-)] is primarily limited to chemotherapy. Our aim was to characterize NIS expression in this subset of tumors.Archival tissue sections from 23 women with triple-negative breast cancer were analyzed for NIS expression using immunohistochemical methods and an anti-human NIS antibody. Tumors were evaluated for the presence of plasma membrane immunoreactivity. One patient with a NIS-expressing positive tumor underwent (123)I scintigraphic imaging with dosimetric analysis.Fifteen cases (65.2%) demonstrated NIS-positivity with 11 tumors (47.8%) exhibiting strong expression. Plasma membrane immunoreactivity was observed in four breast cancers and was equivocal in another four tumors. Tumor-specific radioiodide uptake was demonstrated by (123)I scintigraphy in a patient with a large primary breast cancer unresponsive to neoadjuvant therapy. The tumor concentrated 2.05, 1.53, and 1.96 times more isotope than normal breast tissue at 1, 5, and 21 h. The relative increased uptake is consistent with positive NIS expression in the tumor on definitive surgery; however, the cumulative concentration in the tumor was not sufficient to achieve a therapeutic effect, had the isotope been (131)I.NIS is strongly expressed in a significant proportion of triple-negative breast cancer cells, suggesting a potential role for NIS-directed (131)I-radioablative strategies in this patient population.
View details for DOI 10.1245/s10434-008-0280-9
View details for PubMedID 19184238