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Hum Pathol. 1991 Apr;22(4):368-72.

Value of gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 in distinguishing metastatic breast carcinomas among poorly differentiated neoplasms involving the ovary.

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  • 1Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Women with breast cancer have an increased risk of developing primary ovarian tumors. Because a differential diagnosis between primary and metastatic tumors may be difficult in poorly differentiated ovarian neoplasms, breast carcinoma markers may be helpful in establishing the primary site of origin. Gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 (GCDFP-15), a well-known marker of apocrine differentiation, has been reported as a highly specific and sensitive breast carcinoma marker. To evaluate the usefulness of GCDFP-15 as a marker for metastatic breast cancer, we have studied, by the avidin-biotin-peroxidase technique, 14 cases of breast cancer metastatic to the ovary and compared them with 32 primary ovarian tumors and seven cases of ovarian metastases other than breast in origin. Two cases of primary ovarian cancer metastatic to the breast were also included. A strong cytoplasmic immunostaining was found in 10 of 14 cases (71%) of ovarian metastasis from breast carcinoma, and in most cases a characteristic paranuclear staining was noted. All primary ovarian tumors were negative. Ovarian metastases from tumors other than breast and both cases of ovarian carcinoma metastatic to the breast were negative. These results are highly significant (P less than .00001) and demonstrate the value of GCDFP-15 in establishing a primary breast origin among neoplasms of unknown origin involving the ovaries.

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