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Adverse effects of dyes used in sentinel node biopsy on immunocytochemical determination of hormone receptors in breast cancer cells
  1. Y A Masannat1,
  2. A M Shaaban2,
  3. V Speirs3,
  4. G Coast4,
  5. P Jackson4,
  6. K Horgan5,
  7. A M Hanby6
  1. 1Department of General Surgery, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Department of Pathology, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds General Infirmary, Algernon Firth Institute, Leeds, UK
  3. 3Pathology & Tumour Biology, Welcome Trust Brenner Building, Leeds Institute for Molecular Medicine, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, UK
  4. 4Department of pathology, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  5. 5Department of General Surgery, The Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  6. 6Pathology & Tumour Biology, Welcome Trust Brenner Building, Leeds Institute for Molecular Medicine, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 MrY A Masannat
 Breast Unit/Surgical Department, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK; yazanmas{at}hotmail.com

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Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is currently used in the UK for axillary staging in breast cancer. Node localisation is achieved with the combination of injected dye and radioactive tracer.1 The commonly used dyes are the isomers isosulphan blue and Patent blue V (PBV).1–3 Methylene blue (MB) is also used in some centres as it is cheaper and easily available.4 In the Far East, other dyes such as Indigocarmine (IDC) are also being used.5

In the 1980s, when dyes were used to localise occult breast cancers before surgery, studies were carried out on the effect of the dyes on oestrogen receptor (ERα) assessment by ligand-binding assay. These showed a decrease in the binding capacity after treatment with MB but not with isosulphan blue.6,7 Given the importance of the determination of ERα expression in the treatment of breast cancer and the wider use of SLNB to stage the axilla, we investigated whether the dyes used change the immunocytochemical profile of these receptors.

Materials and methods

The ERα-positive and progesterone receptor (PR)-positive malignant breast cell line MCF-7 was cultured under standard conditions and exposed to the dyes diluted 1:10, 1:100 and 1:1000 in triplicate for 4 and 24 h. The dyes used were 2.5% PBV (Guerbert, France), 1% MB (Martindale Pharmaceuticals, UK) and 4% IDC (Amino), which are the concentrations used clinically for …

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