We have examined breast fluids from non-lactating women and male neonates for the expression of epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), also termed polymorphic epithelial mucin (PEM). All fluids exhibited significant amounts of EMA as demonstrated by immunoblot analyses and enzyme immunoassay. EMA was present in the breast fluids of both pre- and post-menopausal women, and these results suggest that nipple aspirates could provide an easily accessible source of antigen for assessing the value of EMA as a tumor marker both before and after various therapeutic modalities. The presence of EMA in the 'witch's milks' indicates that full maturation of the breast is not a prerequisite for antigen expression in breast tissue.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research