Genomic and immunophenotypical characterization of pure micropapillary carcinomas of the breast

C. Marchiò, M. Iravani, R. Natrajan, M. B. Lambros, K. Savage, N. Tamber, K. Fenwick, A. Mackay, R. Senetta, S. Di Palma, F. C. Schmitt, G. Bussolati, I. O. Ellis, A. Ashworth, A. Sapino, J. S. Reis-Filho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pure invasive micropapillary carcinoma (MPC) is a special histological type that accounts for 0.7-3% of all breast cancers. MPC has a distinctive growth pattern and a more aggressive clinical behaviour than invasive ductal carcinomas of no special type (IDC-NSTs). To define the molecular characteristics of MPCs, we profiled a series of 12 MPCs and 24 grade and oestrogen receptor (ER)-matched DDC-NSTs using high-resolution microarray comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). In addition, we generated a tissue microarray containing a series of 24 MPCs and performed immunohistochemical analysis with ER, PR, Ki-67, HER2, CK5/6, CK14, CK17, EGFR, topoisomerase-IIα, cyclin D1, caveolin-1, E-cadherin, and β-catenin antibodies. In situ hybridization probes were employed to evaluate the prevalence of amplification of HER2, TOP2A, EGFR, CCND1, MYC, ESR1, and FGFR1 genes. aCGH analysis demonstrated that MPCs significantly differed from IDC-NSTs at the genomic level. Gains of 1q, 2q, 4p, 6p, 6q23.2-q27, 7p, 7q, 8p, 8q, 9p, 10p, 11q, 12p, 12q, 16p, 17p, 17q, 19p, 20p, 20q, and 21q, and losses of 1p, 2p, 6q11.1-q16.3, 6q21-q22.1, 9p, 11p, 15q, and 19q were more prevalent in MPCs. High-level gains/amplifications of 8p12-p11, 8q12, 8q13, 8q21, 8q23, 8q24, 17q21, 17q23, and 20q13 were significantly associated with MPCs. A comparison between 24 MPCs and a series of 48 grade and ER-matched IDC-NSTs revealed that high cyclin D1 expression, high proliferation rates, and MYC (8q24) amplification were significantly associated with MPCs. Our results demonstrate that MPCs have distinct histological features and molecular genetic profiles supporting the contention that they constitute a distinct pathological entity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-410
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Amplification
  • Breast cancer
  • Chromogenic in situ hybridization
  • Comparative genomic hybridization
  • Histological type
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Oncogene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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