Molecular profiling of invasive breast cancer by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification-based copy number analysis of tumor suppressor and oncogenes

Cathy B. Moelans, Roel A. De Weger, Hanneke N. Monsuur, Raymon Vijzelaar, Paul J. Van Diest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Several oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes have been shown to be implicated in the development, progression and response to therapy of invasive breast cancer. The phenotypic uniqueness (and thus the heterogeneity of clinical behavior) among patients tumors may be traceable to the underlying variation in gene copy number of these genes. To obtain a more complete view of gene copy number changes and their relation to phenotype, we analyzed 20 breast cancer-related genes in 104 invasive breast cancers with the use of multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). We identified MYC gene amplification in 48% of patients, PRDM14 in 34%, topoisomerase IIα (TOP2A) in 32%, ADAM9 in 32%, HER2 in 28%, cyclin D1 (CCND1) in 26%, EMSY in 25%, IKBKB in 21%, AURKA in 17%, FGFR1 in 17%, estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) in 16%, CCNE1 in 12% and EGFR in 9% of patients. There was a significant correlation between the number of amplified genes and the histological grade and mitotic index of the tumor. Gene amplifications of EGFR, CCNE1 and HER2 were negatively associated with estrogen receptor status whereas FGFR1, ADAM9, IKBKB and TOP2A revealed a positive association. Amplifications of ESR1, PRDM14, MYC and HER2 were associated with a high mitotic index, and PRDM14 and HER2 amplifications with high histological grade. MYC amplification was detected more frequently in ductal tumors and high-level MYC amplifications were significantly associated with large tumor size. HER2/MYC, HER2/CCNE1 and EGFR/MYC co-amplified tumors were significantly larger than tumors with either of these amplifications. Gene loss occurred most frequently in E-cadherin (CDH1) (20%) and FGFR1 (10%). In conclusion, MLPA analysis with this breast cancer kit allowed to simultaneously assess copy numbers of 20 important breast cancer genes, providing an overview of the most frequent (co)amplifications as well as interesting phenotypic correlations, and thereby data on the potential importance of these genes in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1039
Number of pages11
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • amplification
  • breast cancer
  • copy number
  • MLPA
  • oncogenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this