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Int J Surg Pathol. 2008 Jul;16(3):251-6. doi: 10.1177/1066896908314784. Epub 2008 Apr 2.

Prognostic significance of micropapillary pattern in pure mucinous carcinoma of the breast.

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  • 1Department of Histopathology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education Research, Chandigarh, India.


Breast carcinoma with micropapillary architecture is associated with aggressive behavior. Similar micropapillary pattern in pure mucinous carcinoma has been noticed and has been shown to convey poor prognosis. In this study 17 cases of pure mucinous carcinoma of the breast seen during a 10-year period have been reviewed, with special reference to micropapillary pattern. Diffuse micropapillary pattern was seen in 6 of 17 cases of mucinous carcinoma of the breast and demonstrated reverse polarity immunostaining pattern with "Epithelial Membrane Antigen." In all cases, the tumor cells showed grade I morphology, and no lymph node metastases were noticed. All the tumors except 1 expressed strong estrogen and progesterone receptor expression, however, all the cases were negative for Her-2/neu expression. In this present study, mucinous carcinomas with micropapillary pattern showed a low nuclear grade, higher incidence of hormone receptor positivity, and lower incidence of Her-2/neu similar to mucinous carcinomas without micropapillary pattern, thus explaining their indolent behavior.

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