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Korean J Pathol. 2012 Apr;46(2):169-76. doi: 10.4132/KoreanJPathol.2012.46.2.169. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

The clinicopathologic features of molecular apocrine breast cancer.

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1
Department of Pathology, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University Health System, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To elucidate the clinicopathologic features and their implications on the immunohistochemistry in cases of molecular apocrine breast cancer (MABC).

METHODS:

Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for estrogen receptor (ER), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), cytokeratin (CK) 5/6, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), androgen receptor (AR), gamma-glutamyltrasferase 1 (GGT1) and Ki-67 was performed on tissue microarray breast cancer samples from 204 patients. Phenotypes of breast cancer were divided based on the IHC status of ER, AR and GGT1 into the following: luminal type, ER positive and AR and/or GGT1 positive; basal type, ER, AR, and GGT1 negative; non-basal type, ER positive and AR and GGT1 negative; and MABC type, ER negative and AR and/or GGT1 positive.

RESULTS:

In our series of patients (n=204), there were 26 cases of MABC. Besides, there were 18, 60, and 100 cases of luminal type, basal type and non-basal type, respectively. The MABC demonstrated apocrine histology and a higher prevalence of HER-2 positivity than other phenotypes. With the basal type, the MABC manifested a more frequent expression of CK5/6 and EGFR and a higher Ki-67 index than other phenotypes (p<0.001). There were no significant differences in patient prognosis between the phenotypes of breast cancer.

CONCLUSIONS:

MABC are distinguishable from other phenotypes based on the apocrine histology and a higher expression rate of HER-2.

KEYWORDS:

Breast neoplasms; Immunohistochemistry; Molecular apocrine

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