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E-Cadherin Status in Breast Cancer Correlates With Histologic Type but Does Not Correlate With Established Prognostic Parameters

Hina S. Qureshi MD, Michael D. Linden MD, George Divine PhD, Usha B. Raju MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/WMX7DRWTFVQP2LQT 377-385 First published online: 1 March 2006


Our objective was to assess the loss of E-cadherin (EC) as a diagnostic marker or a predictor of prognosis. We stained 276 breast carcinomas with monoclonal antibodies to EC (invasive lobular carcinomas [ILC] and variants, 59; invasive ductal carcinoma and ductal special types [IDC], 204; tubulolobular carcinoma [TLC], 4; and invasive carcinoma [IC], uncertain whether lobular or ductal type, 9). The results were as follows: EC+ IDCs, 99.5%; EC– ILCs, 90%; EC+ ILCs, 10%; EC+ pleomorphic ILCs, 20%; EC– ICs, 44%. All 4 TLCs showed positive tubules while cords were negative. Statistically a correlation of EC loss with a positive diagnosis of ILC was found but there was no correlation with any prognostic tumor variables. A negative EC stain confirms the diagnosis of ILC (specificity, 97.7%; negative predictive value, 96.8%; sensitivity, 88.1%; positive predictive value, 91.2%). EC is helpful in classifying cases with indeterminate histologic features. EC loss is uncommon in nonlobular carcinomas with no correlation to currently established prognostic variables.

Key Words:
  • Breast
  • Lobular
  • Ductal
  • Carcinoma
  • E-cadherin