Morphological and pathological features of basal-like breast cancer

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Basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) is characterized by high grade, high mitotic indices, presence of central necrotic or fibrotic zones, and lymphocytic infiltrate. Patients presenting with BLBC have a poor prognosis and a short-term disease-free and overall survival. BLBCs may include different histological types of breast cancers but the most common histological type is represented by invasive ductal carcinomas of no special type (IDC-NST). Typical immunohistochemical markers for these tumors are basal-type cytokeratin markers such as CK5/6, CK14, CK17, but several BLBCs also express luminal-type CKs, such as CK8/18, CK19. Different molecular alterations, including BRCA1 dysfunction, p53 mutations, up-regulation of EGFR, inactivation of PTEN and the aberrant expression of many non-coding RNAs molecules are detected in BLBC cells suggesting the possibility of defining new targeted therapeutic strategies for this tumor type.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S503-S509
JournalTranslational Cancer Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Basal-like breast cancer (BLBC)
  • histological features
  • molecular markers


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