Estrogen receptor determination in percutaneous bone marrow biopsies of patients with metastatic breast cancer
Because material for biopsy among breast cancer patients is often scarce, a new procedure using material obtained from percutaneous bone marrow biopsy was developed and is presented. Bone marrow biopsy was the source of neoplastic material in 42 patients and was used to determine whether percutaneous bone marrow biopsy specimens could provide the necessary neoplastic tissue for estrogen receptor (ER) determination. Of the 42 patients, specimens from 11 (26%) were found to have insufficient tumor material for further evaluation; of the remaining 31 patients, 12 (39%) contained quantitatively ( 7 fmol) or qualitatively significant estrogen binding. All 12 patients were treated with endocrine therapy alone. Of the 12 patients, 8 (67%) responded to hormonal manipulation. The majority of patients evaluated were without other measureable signs of recurrent disease. All data obtained served to corroborate the usefulness of routine percutaneous bone marrow specimen for receptor analysis. This use of bone marrow represents an important application of improved technology to clinical practice.