Background: Mammary metaplastic carcinoma encompasses epithelial-only carcinoma (high-grade adenosquamous carcinoma or pure squamous cell carcinoma), biphasic epithelial and sarcomatoid carcinoma and monophasic spindle cell carcinoma.
Aim: To evaluate the clinicopathological features of a large series of 34 metaplastic carcinomas.
Methods: 10 epithelial-only, 14 biphasic and 10 monophasic metaplastic carcinomas were assessed for nuclear grade, hormone receptor status, HER2/neu (cerbB2) oncogene expression, Ki-67 and p53, lymph node status and recurrence on follow-up.
Results: Intermediate to high nuclear grade were assessed in most (33/34) tumours. Oestrogen and progesterone receptors were negative in 8 of 10 epithelial-only, all 14 biphasic, and 9 of 10 monophasic tumours, cerbB2 was negative in 7 of 10 epithelial-only, all 14 biphasic and 8 of 10 monophasic tumours. Ki-67 was found to be positive in 6 of 10 epithelial-only, 6 of 14 biphasic, and 7 of 10 monophasic tumours, whereas p53 was positive in 6 of 10 epithelial-only, 7 of 14 biphasic, and 8 of 10 monophasic tumours. Lymph node metastases were seen in 7 of 7 epithelial-only, 7 of 11 biphasic, and 3 of 7 monophasic tumours. Recurrences were seen in 4 of 7 epithelial-only, 8 of 9 biphasic, and 4 of 9 monophasic tumours.
Conclusions: All three subtypes of metaplastic carcinoma are known to behave aggressively, and should be differentiated from the low-grade fibromatosis-like metaplastic carcinoma, which does not metastasise. Oncological treatment options may be limited by the frequently negative status of hormonal receptor and cerbB2.
- IDC, infiltrating duct carcinoma
- SCC, squamous cell carcinoma
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Published Online First 7 February 2006
Competing interests: None declared.