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Pathol Int. 2000 Apr;50(4):263-72.

New prognostic histological parameter of invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast: clinicopathological significance of fibrotic focus.

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  • 1Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute East, Chiba, Japan.


Immunohistochemistry, DNA ploidy analysis and molecular genetics have made it possible to predict the outcome of breast cancer more precisely than routine histological examination alone. However, in routine practice, it is difficult to incorporate these methodologies in all cases. If certain histological parameters can accurately predict the outcome of patients with breast cancer, they would be more practical for routine use. We showed that the presence of fibrotic focus (FF) in invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is closely associated with c-erbB-2 or p53 protein expression, high proliferative activity, and high angiogenesis of the tumors. Furthermore, multivariate analyses with well-known prognostic parameters for IDC demonstrated that the presence of FF is the most useful independent parameter to predict IDC patient outcome. In addition, our data suggested that the interaction between tumor cells and stromal fibroblasts may play an important role in the formation of FF in IDC based on growth factor and growth factor receptor protein expression in the tumor cells and fibroblasts forming FF. Based on the results of our clinicopathological studies, we propose a new prognostic classification scheme for the prediction of IDC patient outcome, which consists of FF, nuclear atypia, and fat invasion. This classification has superior predicting power to existing prognostic classifications.

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