Mucinous breast carcinoma with a lobular neoplasia component: A subset with aberrant expression of cell adhesion and polarity molecules and lack of neuroendocrine differentiation

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We investigated whether some mucinous carcinomas (MUCs) are associated with lobular neoplasia (LN) components, and if so, whether this subset has any distinct biological properties. MUC specimens from 41 patients were stratified into pure and mixed types. The LN components adjacent to MUC lesions were examined histopathologically. We also tested immunohistochemically for E-cadherin, β-catenin, and the neuroendocrine markers chromogranin A and synaptophysin; and compared results between MUCs with and without LN. Of 41 patients with MUC, LN was detected in 12 patients (29%); LN alone was the noninvasive component in 8 patients (20%). Decreased E-cadherin and β-catenin expression in the MUC component was detected in 2 (17%) and 7 (58%) cases, respectively, of MUC with LN, compared with 0% (P= 0.080) and 21% (P= 0.018) in MUCs without LN. Neuroendocrine factors were frequently detected in MUCs with LN (42%) and without LN (52%), but tended to be less frequent in MUCs with only LN components (25%) than in other MUCs (55%;P= 0.133). MUCs associated with LN components appear to be a biologically characteristic subset that frequently shows decreased cell–cell adhesion, cell polarity molecules and lack of neuroendocrine differentiation.

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