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Microsatellite Instability Is Infrequent in Medullary Breast Cancer

Soo-Chin Lee MD, Karin D. Berg MD, Mark E. Sherman MD, Constance A. Griffin MD, James R. Eshleman MD, PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/Y468-82G5-ACHW-YRMV 823-827 First published online: 1 June 2001

Abstract

Microsatellite instability (MSI), characterized by contraction or expansion in microsatellite length or short tandem repeats compared with germline lengths, is found in 85% to 90% of colon cancer arising in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer families. These cancers commonly have characteristic histologic appearances, including medullary features with intense lymphoid infiltrates. In pancreatic cancer, a rare medullary histologic subtype more often demonstrates MSI than the more common adenocarcinoma subtype. We hypothesized that the medullary histologic pattern might correlate with MSI in additional tumor types and analyzed 8 cases of typical and atypical medullary carcinoma of the breast. Tumor and normal DNA was extracted from paraffinized tissue blocks of tumor and histologically uninvolved axillary lymph nodes, respectively. We analyzed the tumors for instability in 5 primary (BAT25, BAT26, D17S250, D5S346, D2S123) and 3 alternative (BAT40, D18S55, D18S58) microsatellites recommended at the National Cancer Institute–sponsored conference for diagnosis of MSI in colorectal cancer. All 8 tumors were microsatellite stable at the 8 loci, suggesting that MSI is not commonly associated with medullary or atypical medullary breast carcinoma, in contrast with the reported association with medullary tumors of the colon and pancreas.

Key Words:
  • Medullary breast cancer
  • Microsatellite instability