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Invasive Micropapillary Carcinoma of the Breast
Association of Pathologic Features With Lymph Node Metastasis

Xiaojing Guo MD, Ling Chen MD, Ronggang Lang MD, Yu Fan MD, Xinmin Zhang MD, Li Fu MD, PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/AXYY4AJTMNW6FRMW 740-746 First published online: 1 November 2006


Invasive micropapillary carcinoma (IMPC) of the breast is characterized by a high incidence of axillary lymph node metastasis. To investigate the relationship between pathologic features and lymph node metastasis, 51 cases of breast carcinoma with IMPC components were studied. Immunohistochemical analysis for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-3 was performed, and lymphatic vessel density was measured. The main findings included a significantly increased number of positive lymph nodes and/or an increased rate of lymph node metastasis in IMPC with a higher histologic grade, prominent stromal infiltration of lymphocytes, and higher VEGF-C expression and lymphatic vessel density. The percentage of IMPC component in the tumor was not associated with the incidence of lymph node metastasis. The results suggest that the histologic grade, lymphatic vessel density, and lymphocyte infiltration of IMPC are the key factors that influence lymph node metastasis. Further studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the lymphotropism of this distinct variant of breast carcinoma.

Key Words:
  • Breast neoplasmmetastasis
  • Invasive micropapillary carcinoma
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor
  • VEGF
  • Lymph node