Send to

Choose Destination
Mod Pathol. 2001 Mar;14(3):185-90.

Pathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular features of benign and malignant phyllodes tumors of the breast.

Author information

Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0054, USA.


The histologic distinction between benign and malignant Phyllodes tumors (PT) is often difficult and arbitrary. We analyzed a group of benign and malignant PT to determine whether specific histologic features and expression of Ki-67 and p53 could be useful in distinguishing benign PT from malignant tumors. We also determined whether deletions in Chromosome 3p at the FHIT and hMLH1 loci are common abnormalities in PT. Twenty PT were histologically classified as benign (7) or malignant (13). Seven of the malignant PT were low grade, and six were high grade. Ki-67 and p53 immunohistochemistry was performed on all tumors and analyzed for the stromal and for the epithelial component. PCR-based loss of heterozygosity analyses were performed with the following markers on Chromosome 3p: D3S1478 (3p21.2--21.3), D3S1289 (3p21.1--21.2), and D3S1295 (3p14.3--21.1). The distribution of immunoreactivity for Ki-67 was analyzed by quantifying the percentage of positive nuclei and expressed as the labeling index (LI). Patients' ages ranged from 13 to 71 years (median: 51 y). After a mean follow-up period of 8 years, none of the PT metastasized, whereas three recurred locally. Although malignant PT were larger than benign PT (means, 7.1 versus 4.3 cm), this difference was not statistically significant. Five tumors had infiltrating margins, and 14 were circumscribed. The Ki-67 LI in low-grade malignant PT (16 +/- 25.5) was significantly higher than that in benign PT (3.6 +/- 4.8), whereas the LI in the high-grade malignant PT group (50 +/- 21.9) was significantly higher than that in low-grade malignant tumors (P =.012). The Ki-67 LI in the three tumors that recurred was less than 10%. Two of seven (29%) benign PT were focally positive for p53, whereas four of seven (57%) low-grade malignant and three of six (50%) high-grade malignant PT were diffusely positive for p53. The three tumors that recurred initially were histologically benign, as were two of the recurrences. One recurrent tumor evolved to a high-grade malignant PT. Margins were greater than 1 cm in all tumors except four, three of which recurred locally. No allelic loss of 3p was found. In summary, Ki-67 expression may assist in distinguishing benign from malignant PT in diagnostically difficult cases. 3p deletions do not play a significant role in the development of these tumors. Neither Ki-67 nor p53 can reliably predict recurrence. Histologically high-grade malignant PT have a favorable prognosis if widely excised. We emphasize the importance of adequate margins in the treatment of benign and malignant PT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center