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Virchows Arch. 1999 Mar;434(3):227-34.

Myoepithelial cells and basal lamina in poorly differentiated in situ duct carcinoma of the breast. An immunocytochemical study.

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Department of Oncology, University of Bologna, Italy.


A retrospective study was made of 38 selected brest tumours with a poorly differentiated in situ duct component. These were classified on haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; 10 cases), DCIS with invasion (17 cases) and DCIS with features suggestive of for stromal invasion (11 cases). The last were these lesions composed of neoplastic ducts with irregular outlines and a myoepithelial layer that was not clearly evident or large neoplastic ducts growing close together or surrounded by inflammatory desmoplastic stroma. Cases of DCIS involving areas of sclerosing adenosis were included in this category. Consecutive sections obtained from each case were studied with a panel of antibodies against myoepithelial cells (alpha smooth muscle actin and calponin) and basal lamina (BL) components (laminin and type IV collagen). It was found that in situ lesions showed well-formed basal lamina and/or an evident myoepithelial layer. These features were lacking in the invasive areas. Nine of the 11 cases with suggestive features of stromal invasion were reclassified as invasive duct carcinoma (5 cases)and DCIS (4 cases), according to the absence or presence of a continuous myoepithelial layer and/or basal lamina. In 2 such cases immunohistochemistry yielded equivocal results and the label "suggestive of invasion" was therefore pertinent. Immunohistochemistry facilitates the diagnosis of breast DCIS; myoepithelial and basal lamina markers are useful in differentiating microinvasive from in situ ductal carcinomas of the breast.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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