A new mouse anti-oestrogen receptor (ER) monoclonal antibody, ER-P31, has been developed. Comparisons of immunohistochemical detection of ER in human breast cancers using ER-P31 with anti-ER from ER-immunocytochemical assay (ER-ICA; Abbott Diagnostic Division) and radioligand dextran-coated charcoal (DCC) assays were carried out. A total of 63 breast cancers, both ER-negative and -positive, were tested. A highly significant degree of correlation between immunostaining for ER-P31 and both ER-ICA and DCC assays was obtained. It is hoped that once ER-P31 is widely available commercially, determination of ER status in breast cancers should be routinely and economically available to all women with breast cancer. Moreover, with the introduction and implemention of a screening programme for detecting breast cancers, immunocytochemical determination of ER status in unequivocal and equivocal positive fine-needle aspirates of breast lesions can be readily performed.

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