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J Carcinog. 2007 Sep 24;6:12.

Pathobiological features of breast tumours in the State of Kuwait: a comprehensive analysis.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Health Science Centre, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait.



Breast cancer accounts for 30.3% of all cancer types in Kuwaiti women. Death occurs in approximately 43% of these patients. Our goal was to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the pathobiological characteristics of the tumours in an attempt to determine any particular trend that could be present.


One hundred and sixty-six cases were included in this study. All the pathology reports and paraffin blocks pertaining to these cases were collected. Four micrometer sections were taken from each block, and immunostaining against Her-2, ER, and PgR was performed. Both the proportion and intensity of immunostaining were scored according to the Allred's method, and typing of the tumour was done according the WHO criteria regarding tumour classification. Grading of invasive carcinomas was done according to the modified Bloom-Richardson-Elston's method, and tumour stage was determined according to the criteria set by the American Joint Committee on Cancer.


The mean age of the patients below 55 years was 40, as compared to 68 for those above 55 (p < 0.0001). More than half of the cases were in the right breast, and were surgically treated by total mastectomy with axillary clearance. The majority of the tumours had irregular (stellate) margins, was invasive, and had a surrounding breast tissue of adenosis or fibrocystic type. Their mitotic index was 10-20 or >20 with a marked to moderate nuclear pleomorphism. They were mostly grade II or III, sized 2-5 or > 5 cm, had absent or scanty tumour lymphocytes, and were stage II or III. The in situ tumours were mainly ductal carcinoma (DCIS) of which comedo and cribriform were the major histological subtypes. The major histological subtypes of the invasive tumours were ductal-not otherwise specified, lobular, and tubular/cribriform. In this study, we also found a significant (p < 0.05) association between over expression of Her-2, lack of expression of ER and some of the characteristics mentioned above.


Breast cancer in Kuwait seems to be more aggressive than what is currently seen in Europe, North America, Australia, and parts of Asia. Further investigations regarding the features observed in this study need to be performed.

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