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World J Surg Oncol. 2008 Jun 17;6:60. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-6-60.

A case of matrix-producing carcinoma of the breast.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Tokushima Breast Care Clinic, 4-7-7, Nakashimada-Cho, Tokushima 770-0052, Japan. toshi-hirose@higasitokusima.hosp.go.jp



Matrix-producing carcinoma (MPC) of the breast is one variant type of metaplastic carcinoma. The cellular origin of MPC remains unclear. It has been suggested the tumor cells in MPC have the combined characteristics of both epithelial cells and mesenchymal cells. Several reports suggested that the tumor cells in MPC might originate from the myoepithelial cells, but others suggested the origin was basal-like cells.


The patient was a 42-year-old Japanese female. A tumor of about 2 cm in diameter was noted in the right breast. CT revealed the circumference of the tumor to have a ring-like structure, and fine needle aspiration cytology indicated suspicion for malignancy. Breast-conserving surgery was performed. Histopathological studies showed carcinoma cells, having cuboidal to oval-shaped nucleus, were proliferating in cord-like and sheet-like structures in the periphery. In the central areas of the tumor, myxoedematous area was observed with cartilaginous matrix and necrosis. The diagnosis was a matrix-producing carcinoma. Immunohistochemical findings showed the tumor cells had the characteristics of both epithelial cells and mesenchymal cells, while being negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, Her2, myoepithelial cell markers and basal cell markers.


The findings for our present patient and many of the other MPC patients reported in the published literature indicate that this breast cancer has the properties of both epithelial cells and mesenchymal cells. In addition, there is a possibility that matrix-producing tumor cells of our present patient may have a feature of undifferentiated cells.

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