A 67 year old woman presented with a right breast lump which proved to be a grade 2 invasive ductal carcinoma with axillary lymph node metastasis.She had a five year history of CD5 positive chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, which never required treatment. Immunoperoxidase stains for CD5, using the monoclonal antibody NCL-CD-54C7, showed that there was extensive infiltration of axillary lymph nodes with CD5 positive B lymphocytes. Strong staining for CD5 was also seen in the carcinoma cells within the breast and lymph node metastases. It has recently been suggested that there is a tumour suppresser locus in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia at 13q12.3 near or at the BRCA2 locus. Deletion of regions on chromosome 13q containing the BRCA2 and RB1 genes has also been reported in sporadic breast cancers. These observations suggest that there may be a link between these two diseases acting through chromosome 13, but amplification of several microsatellite repeat markers failed to show any loss of heterozygosity or repeat instability at either these or several other loci on chromosome 13. Examination of additional such cases is needed to perform a more comprehensive study of the significance of positive CD5 staining of breast carcinoma.
(J Clin Pathol 1998;51:862-864)