E-cadherin inactivation in breast cancer has been shown to be strongly associated with lobular breast cancer. However, little is known about the levels of E-cadherin expression according to the breast cancer ‘molecular’ subtypes. The aims of this study were to address the distribution of E-cadherin expression according to the different molecular subtypes of breast cancer. E-cadherin expression was immunohistochemically analysed in a tissue microarray containing duplicate cores of 245 invasive breast carcinomas using a semi-quantitative scoring system based on the percentage of cells showing membrane immunopositivity. Reduced and/or negative E-cadherin expression was significantly associated with lack of ER expression, low levels of CCND1 expression, positivity for cytokeratins 5/6 and 17, EGFR, caveolins 1 and 2, p53 expression, high MIB-1 proliferation indices, basal-like phenotype and triple negative phenotype. Our study demonstrates that in the group of non-lobular breast cancers, reduction/ lack of E-cadherin expression is preferentially found in basal-like breast carcinomas.
- basal-like breast cancer