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Hum Pathol. 2013 Dec;44(12):2837-44. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2013.08.001. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

MAST2 and NOTCH1 translocations in breast carcinoma and associated pre-invasive lesions.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5324, USA. Electronic address:


There are several mutations and structural variations common to breast cancer. Many of these genomic changes are thought to represent driver mutations in oncogenesis. Less well understood is how and when these changes take place in breast cancer development. Previous studies have identified gene rearrangements in the microtubule-associated serine-threonine kinase (MAST) and NOTCH gene families in 5% to 7% of invasive breast cancers. Some of these translocations can be detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) allowing for examination of the correlation between these genomic changes and concurrent morphologic changes in early breast neoplasia. NOTCH and MAST gene rearrangements were identified by FISH in a large series of breast cancer cases organized on tissue microarrays (TMA). When translocations were identified by TMA, we performed full cross-section FISH to evaluate concurrent pre-invasive lesions. FISH break-apart assays were designed for NOTCH1 and MAST2 gene rearrangements. Translocations were identified in 16 cases of invasive carcinoma; 10 with MAST2 translocations (2.0%) and 6 cases with NOTCH1 translocations (1.2%). Whole section FISH analysis of these cases demonstrated that the translocations are present in the majority of concurrent ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) (6/8). When DCIS wasn't associated with an invasive component, it was never translocated (0/170, P=.0048). We have confirmed the presence of MAST and NOTCH family gene rearrangements in invasive breast carcinoma, and show that FISH studies can effectively be used with TMAs to screen normal, pre-invasive, and coexisting invasive disease. Our findings suggest that these translocations occur during the transition to DCIS and/or invasive carcinoma.

© 2013.


Breast; FISH; MAST; NOTCH; Pre-invasive

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