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Zentralbl Pathol. 1994 Jul;140(2):129-34.

The apocrine carcinoma of the breast. A cytological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study of 6 cases.

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Department of Pathology, Alexandrov Hospital, Medical Faculty Sofia, Bulgaria.


The apocrine carcinoma is a rare type of invasive breast carcinomas. Characteristic features of this neoplasm are shown by the eosinophilic granular cytoplasm with apical snouts and strong expression of GCDFP-15. A review of 2000 available primary breast carcinomas identified 6 examples (0.3%) based on the definition. Architecturally, these tumors displayed either a solid-tubular or a papillary growth pattern, while cytologically the lesions were composed of large columnar epithelial cells with marked anisonucleosis and numerous PAS-positive diastase-resistant cytoplasmic granules. Immunohistochemically, apocrine breast carcinomas showed abundant GCDFP-15, CEA an c-erbB-2 oncoprotein. Electron microscopic analysis revealed the presence of numerous secretory granules. The differential diagnostic problems of apocrine breast carcinomas and malignant tumors mimicking them are discussed.

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