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Comparative Sensitivities and Specificities of Antibodies to Breast Markers GCDFP-15, Mammaglobin A, and Different Clones of Antibodies to GATA-3: A Study of 338 Tumors Using Whole Sections

Kandalaft, Patricia L. MD; Simon, Rochelle A. MD; Isacson, Christina MD; Gown, Allen M. MD

Applied Immunohistochemistry & Molecular Morphology: October 2016 - Volume 24 - Issue 9 - p 609–614
doi: 10.1097/PAI.0000000000000237
Research Articles

GATA-3 is a transcription factor that has recently been identified by immunohistochemistry to be highly expressed in urothelial and breast carcinomas (CAs). We sought to determine the potential utility of GATA-3 in identifying metastatic breast CA, and to compare its utility with the standard breast markers, GCDFP-15, and mammaglobin A. We identified an archival series of 338 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded whole-tissue sections of various CAs. Using standard immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques we used mouse monoclonal antibodies to GATA-3 (clones L50-823, HG3-31), GCDFP-15 (23A3), and mammaglobin A (31A5). Both clones of GATA-3 showed positivity in 96% of non–triple-negative breast carcinomas (TNBCs), L50-823 and HG3-31, demonstrating expression in 87% and 63% of TNBCs, respectively; GCDFP-15 and mammaglobin A were expressed in 69% and 61% of non-TNBCs, respectively, and 10% and 17%, of TNBCs, respectively. The L50-823 clone manifested a lower specificity in identifying breast CAs (84%) than did the HG3-31 clone (97%). Both monoclonal antibodies to GATA-3 are very sensitive reagents for the identification of breast CA, surpassing antibodies to GCDFP-15 and mammaglobin A, and offer a significant improvement in identifying TNBCs. However, the L50-823 clone showed a lower level of specificity, which may qualify its utility in the setting of CAs of unknown primary.

*The PhenoPath Laboratories PLLC

Pacific Pathology Partners

CellNetix Pathology and Laboratories, Seattle, WA

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Patricia L. Kandalaft, MD, Pacific Pathology Partners, 550 17th Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle WA 98122 (e-mail:

Received May 1, 2015

Accepted May 11, 2015

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