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Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Oct;20(10):3247-53. doi: 10.1245/s10434-013-3155-7. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Is there a correlation between breast cancer molecular subtype using receptors as surrogates and mammographic appearance?

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Department of Surgery, The Breast Center-Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.



The identification of distinct molecular subtypes has changed breast cancer management. The correlation between mammographic appearance and molecular subtype for invasive breast cancer has not been extensively studied.


A retrospective review of our prospectively collected database was performed to evaluate the mammographic appearance and molecular subtypes of all cases of invasive breast cancers diagnosed between 2003 and 2010.


There were 985 cases of invasive breast cancer with complete data on receptor status and mammographic appearance. The most common mammographic finding was a mass (61 %), and the most common molecular subtype was ER/PR positive, HER2 negative (71 %). On univariate analysis, race, stage, and histology were all significantly associated with molecular subtype. On multivariate analysis, the luminal molecular type was associated with architectural distortion [odds ratio (OR) 4.3, 95 % CI 1.3-14.1]; HER2 positive cancers, either with or without ER/PR expression, were more likely to be associated with mammographic calcifications (OR 2.8 and 3.1, respectively; 95 % CI 1.7-4.8 and 1.7-5.5); and triple negative cancers were most likely to be associated with a mammographic mass (OR 2.5; 95 % CI 1.4-4.4).


We observed several characteristic associations between molecular subtype and mammographic appearance. Improved understanding of these associations may help guide clinical decision making and provide information about underlying tumor biology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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