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Significance of Estrogen/Progesterone Receptor Expression in Metaplastic Breast Carcinoma.

INTRODUCTION: Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) is a rare subgroup of breast neoplasms associated with adverse outcomes because of its aggressive nature. Typically, MBCs show triple-negative hormone receptor (HR) status. Determining the HR status of breast cancer is an integral part because it is an important prognostic factor and helps in the treatment course of the disease. This study aimed to determine the HR status of MBC, its significance, and its association with various clinicopathological parameters.

METHODS: This was a retrospective study conducted at the Department of Histopathology, Liaquat National Hospital. A total of 140 biopsy-proven cases of MBC were enrolled in the study. Clinical and pathological data were retrieved from the institutes' archives. Immunohistochemical studies were conducted to determine the estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status.

RESULTS: The mean age of MBC in our population was found to be 52.18 ± 12.19 years. The HR positivity rate in our population was found to be 32.9%. A significant association was found between HR status and tumor laterality, tumor size, tumor grade, tumor stage, and recurrence. ER/PR-negative MBCs were most probably associated with higher grade and higher tumor stage and were larger in size (6.62 ± 3.43 cm) than ER/PR-positive MBCs (4.20 ± 1.88 cm). Moreover, ER/PR-positive MBCs showed a higher recurrence rate than ER/PR-negative MBCs (43.5% vs. 25.5%, respectively). No statistically significant relationship was found between HR status and patient age, histological subtype, or survival rate.

CONCLUSION: MBC is a rare breast neoplasm. MBC was found to be triple negative in most cases, but a significant percentage were HR (ER/PR) positive. Moreover, we found an association between HR status and various clinicopathological features, indicating that HR status is a significant predictor of MBC prognosis.

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