Clinicopathologic features of molecular subtypes of triple negative breast cancer based on immunohistochemical markers

Junjeong Choi, Woo-Hee Jung, Ja Seung Koo
Histology and Histopathology 2012, 27 (11): 1481-93
This study was performed to identify molecular subtypes of triple negative breast carcinoma (TNBC) based on immunohistochemical markers. We prepared a tissue microarray from TNBC specimens of 122 patients and performed immunohistochemical staining for cytokeratin (CK) 5/6, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), claudin 3, claudin 4, claudin 7, E-cadherin, androgen receptor (AR), and gammma-glutamyltransferase (GGT1). Based on immunoreactivity, tumors were classified into basal-like (CK5/6 positive and/or EGFR positive), molecular apocrine (AR positive and/or GGT1 positive), claudin low (claudin 3, claudin 4, claudin 7 negative and/or E-cadherin negative), mixed (tumors belonging to two or more subtypes), and null (tumors not matching any other subtypes). The TNBC specimens of 122 patients included 27 basal-like (22.1%), 28 claudin low (23.0%), 12 molecular apocrine (9.8%), 23 mixed (18.9%) and 32 null (26.2%) subtype tumors. The molecular apocrine subtype showed the highest percentage of apocrine differentiation and the lowest Ki-67 labeling index (p<0.001 and p=0.040, respectively). In univariate analysis, tumor cell discohesiveness was related with shorter disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) (p=0.005, and 0.002, respectively). In multivariate analysis, tumor cell discohesiveness was related with shorter OS and CK5/6 positivity (p=0.018), and claudin 7 positivity (p=0.019) was related with shorter DFS. In conclusion, using immunohistochemical staining for CK5/6, EGFR, claudin 3, claudin 4, claudin 7, E-cadherin, AR, and GGT1, we categorized TNBC into a basal-like subtype, a claudin low subtype, a molecular apocrine subtype, a mixed subtype showing characteristics of two different subtypes, and a null subtype not belonging to any of the subtypes identified.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"