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Hum Pathol. 2008 May;39(5):666-71. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2007.09.009. Epub 2008 Mar 12.

Serous papillary adenocarcinoma of the female genital organs and invasive micropapillary carcinoma of the breast. Are WT1, CA125, and GCDFP-15 useful in differential diagnosis?

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Clinical Laboratories, Nagoya Medical Center, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0001, Japan.


Serous papillary adenocarcinoma of the female genital organs and invasive micropapillary carcinoma of the breast have close histologic similarities. Thus, when these cancers occur synchronously or metachronously in the same patient, it is difficult to determine the primary site. We examined 23 serous papillary adenocarcinomas (16 ovarian, 5 endometrial, and 2 peritoneal) and 37 invasive micropapillary carcinomas of the breast (12 pure and 25 mixed types) on immunohistochemical expression of Wilm's tumor antigen-1 (WT1), CA125, and gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 (GCDFP-15), which have been reported to be useful in the differential diagnosis of primary ovarian carcinomas versus metastatic breast cancer to the ovary. The positive rates of WT1, CA125, and GCDFP-15 in serous papillary adenocarcinomas were 78%, 78%, and 0%, respectively, and the corresponding rates in invasive micropapillary carcinomas were 3%, 40%, and 38%. The CA125-positive rate of invasive micropapillary carcinoma was higher than the rate reported for other types of breast carcinomas. We consider CA125 to be not always useful in the differential diagnosis of serous papillary adenocarcinoma and invasive micropapillary carcinoma. Although the positive rate of WT1 was significantly higher in serous papillary adenocarcinoma than in invasive micropapillary carcinoma, WT1 expression in endometrial serous papillary adenocarcinoma was infrequent (20%). WT1 and GCDFP-15 could be useful markers for the differential diagnosis of ovarian and peritoneal serous papillary adenocarcinoma versus breast invasive micropapillary adenocarcinoma. However, the availability of GCDFP-15 is limited because of the low positive rate of GCDFP-15 in invasive micropapillary carcinomas.

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