Matrix-producing Carcinoma of the Breast: An Aggressive Subtype of Metaplastic Carcinoma

Department of Pathology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
The American journal of surgical pathology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 12/2008; 33(4):534-41. DOI: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e31818ab26e
Source: PubMed


Matrix-producing carcinoma (MPC) of the breast is a subtype of metaplastic carcinoma defined as an invasive breast carcinoma with a direct transition of carcinoma to cartilaginous or osseous matrix without an intervening spindle cell component. Our aims were (1) to evaluate specific histologic characteristics of MPC and correlate these with disease recurrence; and (2) to determine whether rates of locoregional and distant recurrence for MPC are significantly different from those of invasive ductal carcinoma. Thirty-two cases of MPC were identified. Fourteen patients (44%) were < or =50 years of age; 10 (31%) had tumors of size < or =2 cm, and 6 (19%) had tumors > or =5 cm. In this series, all tumors contained chondromyxoid or chondroid matrix, and 1 (3.1%) also contained focal (<5%) osseous matrix. High-grade matrix was present in 9 cases (28%), and low-grade matrix was present in 23 (72%). Matrix comprised < or =10% of the tumor in 14 cases (44%), >10% but <40% in 9 (28%), and > or =40% in 9 (28%). The carcinomatous component was high grade in 30 cases (94%), and 19 tumors (59%) had central necrosis. Seven patients (22%) had positive axillary lymph nodes, and 8 (25%) had lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI). LVSI was the only factor independently associated with locoregional recurrence-free survival in multivariate analysis (P=0.043). Although > or =40% matrix was associated with improved distant recurrence-free (DFS) survival in univariate analysis (P=0.044), only LVSI and tumor stage were independently associated with DFS survival in multivariate analysis (P=0.027 and P=0.001, respectively). Compared with matched controls with invasive ductal carcinoma, patients with MPC had decreased locoregional recurrence-free survival (P=0.001) and decreased DRF survival (P=0.001). In summary, MPC is an aggressive subtype of metaplastic carcinoma with a worse clinical outcome than invasive ductal carcinoma.

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    • "Considerable variations exist in different ethnic groups[1].The incidence of metaplastic breast cancer is reported to be 0.2-1 percent of breast cancer and it is rare in the west[2]. MBC is referred to tumor when conventional breast carcinoma contains a metaplastic component ranging from <10% ->50%[3,4]. It is generally felt to be a more aggressive tumor with a greater propensity to have a worse outcome. "

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    • "Matrix-producing carcinoma and biphasic metaplastic sarcomatoid carcinoma (carcinosarcoma) are aggressive subtypes of MBC with a worse clinical outcome than conventional invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) with a decreased locoregional recurrence-free survival (p = 0.001) and decreased distant recurrence-free survival (p = 0.001) [25]. Several investigators are suggesting modified radical mastectomy with adjuvant treatment (radiation and/or chemotherapy) for patients with aggressive subtypes of MBC, particularly for patients with T2 and higher stage disease [25,26]. Dave et al. [24] have shown BCT is equivalent to mastectomy in terms of survival. "
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    ABSTRACT: Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) is a rare subtype of breast cancer characterized by coexistence of carcinomatous and sarcomatous components. Snail is a nuclear transcription factor incriminated in the transition of epithelial to mesenchymal differentiation of breast cancer. Aberrant Snail expression results in lost expression of the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin, an event associated with changes in epithelial architecture and invasive growth. We aimed to identify the utility of Snail, and of traditional immunohistochemical markers, in accurate MBC classification and to evaluate clinicopathologic characteristics and outcome. We retrospectively reviewed 34 MBC cases from January 1997 to September 2007. The control group contained 26 spindle cell lesions. Immunohistochemistry used Snail, p63, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), OSCAR, and wide spectrum cytokeratin (WS-KER). Negative was a score less than 1%. We found that Snail and EGFR are sensitive (100%) markers with low specificity (3.8% and 19.2%) for detecting MBC. p63 and WS-KER are specific (100%), with moderate sensitivity (67.6% and 76.5%); OSCAR is sensitive (85.3%) and specific (92.3%). A combination of any 2 of the p63, OSCAR, and WS-KER markers increased sensitivity and specificity. MBCs tended to be high-grade (77%), triple negative (negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2) [27/33; 81.8%], and carcinomas with low incidence of axillary lymph node involvement (15%), and decreased disease-free [71% (95%CI: 54%, 94%) at 3 yrs.) and overall survival. A combination of p63, OSCAR and WS-KER are useful in its work-up. On the other hand, Snail is neither a diagnostic nor a prognostic marker for MBC.
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    ABSTRACT: Metaplastic breast cancer represents a spectrum of histologic subtypes with the common feature of divergent morphologic differentiation. Most of these subtypes are associated with chemotherapy resistance and an increased likelihood of developing distant metastatic disease, which has been associated with a poor prognosis. However, recent molecular characterization has indicated that some metaplastic cancers may respond to targeted therapy regimens currently undergoing evaluation in early phase clinical trials. In this review, the pathologic characteristics and epidemiology of metaplastic breast cancer are discussed along with novel therapeutic agents that may augment standard chemotherapy for this intriguing type of breast cancer.
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