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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 66

of 'Pathology of breast cancer'

Solid variant of mammary adenoid cystic carcinoma with basaloid features: a study of nine cases.
Shin SJ, Rosen PP
Am J Surg Pathol. 2002;26(4):413.
Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the breast is a rare neoplasm that represents<1% of breast carcinomas. The tumors are histologically indistinguishable from examples in other sites, and they have a generally favorable prognosis. Several studies have investigated the possible correlation between histologic grade in adenoid cystic carcinoma (largely determined by cytology and growth pattern) and prognosis. Some earlier reports concluded that a solid variant of mammary adenoid cystic carcinoma had a more aggressive clinical course, but others did not confirm this impression. This report describes nine patients with a solid variant of mammary adenoid cystic carcinoma that has a striking basaloid appearance. All were women ranging in age from 37 to 83 years. A solitary mass was evident in all patients. Tumor size was 1.1-15 cm (mean 3.7 cm). The tumors exhibited a predominantly solid architecture comprised of basaloid appearing cells with moderate to marked nuclear atypia. Five tumors had>5 mitotic figures per 10 high power microscopic fields. Intercalated ducts were found in all tumors, being well formed in six and poorly formed in three. Immunohistochemical stains for cytokeratins, basement membranes, and vimentin were consistently positive. Surgery was performed in all cases consisting of excision in seven and mastectomy in two. Axillary lymph node metastases were found in two of six axillary dissections and four had negative lymph nodes. The lymph nodes were not examined in three patients. Follow-up information was available for seven patients. Six women had no evidence of disease after follow-up of 2-88 months (mean 32 months), one patient died of unknown causes, and one patient was lost to follow-up. It is concluded that the solid variant of mammary carcinoma with basaloid features is a histologically distinct tumor that is capable of axillary metastases. Long-term follow-up of a larger series of cases will be needed to determine whether the prognosis of these patients differs significantly from that of women with conventional adenoid cystic carcinoma. Presently, these patients are candidates for axillary staging by sentinel lymph node mapping or low axillary dissection if there is no clinical evidence of axillary metastases. Systemic adjuvant treatment would be prudent when axillary nodal metastases are present. Breast-conserving surgery with radiation is an option if negative margins can be achieved because this appears to be a unicentric form of carcinoma.
Department of Pathology, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA. sjshin@mail.med.cornell.edu