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Turk Patoloji Derg. 2012;28(3):238-44. doi: 10.5146/tjpath.2012.01130.

[Immunohistochemical characteristics of triple negative/basal-like breast cancer].

[Article in Turkish]

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Department of Pathology, İzmir Tepecik Education and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey.



Triple-negative-breast-cancer that accounts for 10-20% of all breast carcinomas is defined by the lack of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, HER2 expression, and agressive clinical behavior. Triple-negative-breast-cancer is categorized into basal like and other types. The basal-like subtype is characterized by the expression of myoepithelial/basal markers.


We studied 41 immunohistochemically triplenegative- breast-cancer patients to determine EGFR, Cytokeratine 5/6, p53, Ki67, GCDFP-15 expression profiles, HER2 and Chromosome 17 centromere gene status by fluorescence-in-situ-hybridization method.


Histological type was invasive ductal carcinoma in 90.2% of the tumors. p53, Ki67, GCDFP-15 mean positivity rates were 55.6%, 51.7%, and 3.2%, respectively. GCDFP-15 positivity was noted in 8 cases of which 6 were Cytokeratine 5/6 negative. The cut-off value for Cytokeratine 5/6 positivity was 5%. EGFR immunoreactivity was grouped into 0, 1+ as negative; 2+, 3+ as positive categories. Cytokeratine 5/6 was positive in 56,1%, EGFR was positive in 51.2% of the patients. The relation between Cytokeratine 5/6 and EGFR expression was statistically significant (p < 0.01). None of the cases showed HER2 amplification by fluorescence-in-situ-hybridization method.


GCDFP-15 alone is not a useful marker to detect the metastasis of basaloid type breast cancers. Cytokeratine 5/6 and EGFR expressions showed correlation so these markers are reliable to diagnose basaloid type tumors with a 5% cut-off value.

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