Immunohistochemical characterization of subtypes of male breast carcinoma

Yimin Ge, Nour Sneige, Mahmoud A. Eltorky, Zhiqin Wang, E. Lin, Yun Gong, Ming Guo

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73 Scopus citations


Introduction: Male breast cancer accounts for around 1% of all breast cancer cases but the incidence has risen in recent years. This study aimed to classify the molecular subtypes of male breast cancers based on the expression profile of immunomarkers and to evaluate their association with clinicopathological features and expression patterns of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB).Methods: A total of 42 cases of male breast carcinoma were examined retrospectively using immunostains for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6), EGFR, and NF-κB. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression was evaluated by immunostaining and confirmed by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).Results: The luminal A subtype was the most common subtype in male breast cancer (83%, 35/42), which was followed by the luminal B subtype (17%, 7/42). Basal-like and HER2+/ER- subtypes were not identified in this group. All carcinomas expressed ER and 67% of them were PR+. High nuclear grades were more common in the luminal B subtype (71%, 5/7) than in the luminal A subtype (34%, 12/35). The luminal B subtype carcinomas expressed EGFR (42%, 3/7) and NF-κB (57%, 4/7) more frequently than the luminal A subtype did (17%, 6/35 and 37%, 13/35, respectively).Conclusions: In our study group, luminal A and B subtypes were the major subtypes of male breast carcinoma. The immunophenotypical features of male breast cancer differ from those of its female counterpart. Luminal B subtype tended to have high nuclear grade and more frequent expression of EGFR and NF-1κB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberR28
JournalBreast Cancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 14 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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