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Histopathology. 2009 Oct;55(4):441-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2009.03400.x.

Breast cancer in the elderly: a histological assessment.

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1
Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ngan Shing Street, Shatin, Hong Kong. garytse@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

AIMS:

To understand the correlation between the expression status of different biological markers in breast cancers in the elderly.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Three hundred and ninety-seven cases were evaluated for expression of hormone receptors [oestrogen receptors (ER) alpha and beta, progesterone receptor (PR)], basal markers [p63, cytokeratin (CK) 5/6 and CK14] and others (HER2/neu, synaptophysin and chromogranin). The expression rates were 60, 29, 25, 6, 14, 8, 28, 17 and 5%, respectively, for these markers. The expression of ER alpha and beta, PR, synaptophysin and chromogranin at any level correlated with low nuclear or tumour grades, whereas the expression of HER2/neu, CK5/6 and CK14 at any level correlated with high nuclear grade. By using hierarchical clustering, groups of HER2, luminal and basal types were identified. In addition, a neuroendocrine group was also identified, being characterized by expression of synaptophysin, chromogranin, ER and PR, but not HER2/neu, and other basal cytokeratins. This group was associated with lower nuclear grade, and hence better prognosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Breast cancer in the elderly shows similar molecular groupings as other breast cancers, with an additional neuroendocrine group that is associated with a favourable biological marker profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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