Carter MR, Hornick JL, Lester S, Fletcher CD.. Spindle cell (sarcomatoid) carcinoma of the breast: a clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical analysis of 29 cases. Am J Surg Pathol 30: 300-309

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 04/2006; 30(3):300-9. DOI: 10.1097/01.pas.0000184809.27735.a1
Source: PubMed


Spindle cell (sarcomatoid) carcinoma of the breast is a rare variant of breast cancer that has been classified under the broad rubric of metaplastic carcinoma. Because the term "metaplastic carcinoma" comprises a heterogeneous group of tumors, it has been difficult to reliably predict biologic potential or to determine optimal therapy. To better characterize the spindle cell subset of metaplastic breast carcinomas, we reviewed 29 cases. All patients were adult females ranging from 40 to 96 years of age (median, 68 years). Tumor size ranged from 1.5 to 15 cm (median, 4 cm). Treatment was by excision and/or mastectomy with axillary node evaluation in most cases, often combined with postoperative radiation and/or chemotherapy. All cases were clinically of breast origin, showed >or=80% spindled/sarcomatoid morphology, and demonstrated keratin positivity and/or close association with ductal carcinoma in situ. Immunohistochemical studies showed evidence suggesting myoepithelial differentiation as exhibited by immunoreactivity for smooth muscle actin, cytokeratin 14, and p63 in a subset of cases (39%). Twenty-seven cases exhibited pure spindled or sarcomatoid morphology of variable appearance and nuclear grade, whereas 2 contained high-grade invasive ductal carcinoma comprising <or=20% of the tumor mass. Two cases exhibited heterologous elements (1 rhabdomyosarcoma and 1 with both chondrosarcoma and osteosarcoma) and 4 were associated with ductal carcinoma in situ. Follow-up data were available on 24 of 29 patients (range, 1-120 months; median, 20 months). Of 20 cases in which axillary nodes were biopsied, definitive nodal metastases were identified in only 1 (5%), and this was in a case with a significant component of invasive ductal carcinoma. Three patients developed local recurrences. Extranodal metastases occurred in 11 of 24 patients (46%), most commonly to the lungs. Ten of 24 patients (42%) died of disease at a median interval of 11.5 months (range, 1-46 months) and 3 patients were alive with metastatic disease. Eight patients were alive with no evidence of recurrent or metastatic disease (median, 29.5 months). Based on this series, spindle cell/sarcomatoid carcinoma of the breast is a highly aggressive neoplasm with a high rate of extranodal metastases. Purely spindled/sarcomatoid tumors have a significantly lower rate of nodal metastases than conventional ductal and lobular breast carcinomas.

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    • "A report has indicated that the tumor average diameter is 4 cm6. Lymph node metastasis is less common than other breast cancers6,7. In the present case, breast-conserving surgery is possible when minimal peripheral invasion or intraductal spread is present. "
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    ABSTRACT: Spindle cell carcinoma of the breast is a rare tumor. This tumor can proliferate rapidly and cause cystic changes because of internal tissue necrosis. We evaluated a 54-year-old woman with right breast lump. Mammography showed a category four mass with a diameter of 2.5 cm. Ultrasonography (US) revealed a complex cystic lesion, and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology demonstrated bloody fluid and malignant cells. Partial breast resection and sentinel lymph node biopsy were performed. Immunohistology revealed spindle cells with positive results for cytokeratin (AE1/AE3) and vimentin, partially positive results for s-100, and negative results for desmin and α-actin. The pathological stage was IIA, and biochemical characterization showed that the tumor was triple negative. Six courses of FEC-100 chemotherapy (5-fluorouracil 500 mg/m(2), epirubicin 100 mg/m(2), and cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m(2)) were administered. Radiotherapy was performed. This case is discussed with reference to the literature.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Cancer Biology and Medicine
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    • "We found a higher frequency of metaplastic histology in our study (Figures 2 and 3). Metaplastic carcinoma itself is a heterogenous group of tumors including sarcomatoid [28], squamous cell [29], adenosquamous [30], mucoepidermoid, matrix producing [31], metaplastic carcinoma with osteoclast like giant cells [32] and low grade fibromatosis like spindle cell carcinoma [33]. We encountered 10 cases of adenosquamous carcinoma, 8 of matrix producing and 4 cases of sarcomatoid carcinoma. "
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    ABSTRACT: Young age breast cancers are quite prevalent in our setup, a significant number of which exhibit triple negative phenotype. These cancers behave in an aggressive fashion and unresponsive to targeted adjuvant therapy. We aimed to evaluate clinical and histopathologic features of triple negative cancers in our population. We retrospectively evaluated 1104 cases of primary breast cancers. Immunohistochemical studies for ER, PR and Her2neu followed by Her2neu gene amplification by FISH testing were done to identify 205 (18.6%) cases of triple negative breast cancers. Mean age for triple negative breast cancer patients was 48.4 years (+/-12.3) and 60% of patients were diagnosed at less than 50 years of age. Although ductal carcinoma was the most frequent histologic type, a meaningful number of cases exhibited metaplastic and medullary like features (10.7% and 5.9% respectively). Similarly geographic necrosis involving more than 40% of tumor and extensive lymphocytic infiltration was a considerable finding. Mean Ki67 index was 45.2% (+/-25.2) and as a reflection of tumor grade, a significantly higher proportion of cases (66.3%) were under high risk Ki67 category (>30%). Triple negative breast cancers typify high grade breast cancers with a higher frequency of atypical medullary and metaplastic histologies. Their prevailing occurrence at a younger age raises question of under lying BRCA mutations in our population. Therefore, we suggest that risk factors including BRCA 1 mutations should be uncovered in reproductive age group breast cancers especially those disclosing basal like phenotype.Virtual slides: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Diagnostic Pathology
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    • "Several authors have demonstrated that MBC consistently harbor a basal/myoepithelial phenotype, therefore suggesting that they may be part of the morphological spectrum of 'basal-like’ breast carcinomas [56-62]. One of the defining features of basal-like breast cancer is epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpression [63,64]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Metaplastic breast cancer (MBC) is a rare subtype of invasive breast cancer that tends to have an aggressive clinical presentation as well as a variety of distinct histologic designations. Few systemic treatment options are available for MBC, as it has consistently shown a suboptimal response to standard chemotherapy regimens. These characteristics result in a worse overall prognosis for patients with MBC compared to those with standard invasive breast cancer. Due to its rarity, data focusing on MBC is limited. This review will discuss the clinical presentation, breast imaging findings, histologic and molecular characteristics of MBC as well as potential future research directions.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013
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