Secretory carcinoma of the breast: a genetically defined carcinoma entity.

R. Diallo, C. Tognon, S. R. Knezevich, P. Sorensen, C. Poremba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Secretory carcinomas (SBC) are characterized by their characteristic histomorphology and more favorable prognosis compared to invasive ductal carcinoma of usual type (IDC). On this basis, 13 SBCs are evaluated by molecular and immunohistochemical (IH) methods. 13 SBCs and 4 IDCs were analyzed for ETV6-NTRK3 gene fusion by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and by Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH). 8 of 13 microdissected SBCs with evaluable DNA were evaluated for genetic alterations (GA) by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). IH included estrogen-receptor (ER), progesterone-receptor (PR), Her-2/neu and Ki-67 (MIB-1) in all 13 cases. Molecular and immunohistochemical results in SBCs were compared with previous data regarding immunohistochemical and molecular characteristics of IDCs. 12 of 13 (92 %) SBC cases, but not IDCs expressed the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene which encodes a chimeric tyrosine kinase. Retroviral transfer of ETV6-NTRK3 (EN) into murine mammary epithelial cells resulted in transformed cells that readily formed epithelial tumors in nude mice. CGH revealed an average of 2.0 GAs (range 0-6), including recurrent gains of chromosome 8q and 1q and losses of 22q. Four SBCs were positive for ER and 2 were positive for PR. The mean MIB-1-labeling index was 11.4% (range: <1-34%). Her-2/ neu protein overexpression was detected in 1 case (score 3+). Compared to previous findings in IDCs, SBCs are characterized by the recurrent expression of ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene, a relatively low number of GAs, low proliferative rate, infrequent Her-2/ neu protein overexpression and a lower rate of steroid hormone receptor expression. These results support the hypothesis that SBCs have immunohistochemical and genetic features that specifically distinguish them from IDCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-203
Number of pages11
JournalVerhandlungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Pathologie
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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