Primary breast carcinomas with neuroendocrine features: Clinicopathological features and analysis of tumor growth patterns in 36 cases

Talu C. K. , Leblebici C., Ozturk T. K. , Hacihasanoglu E., Koca S. B. , Gucin Z.

ANNALS OF DIAGNOSTIC PATHOLOGY, cilt.34, ss.122-130, 2018 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier


Primary breast carcinoma with neuroendocrine features (NEBC) is an uncommon tumor. In the classification of WHO 2012, these tumors were categorized as: 1- neuroendocrine tumor, well-differentiated; 2- neuroendocrine carcinoma, poorly differentiated/small cell carcinoma; and 3- invasive breast carcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation. In this study, we reviewed NEBC except poorly differentiated/small cell carcinoma variant in order to define the morphological growth patterns and cytonuclear details of these tumors. All breast surgical excision materials between 2007 and 2016 were re-evaluated in terms of neuroendocrine differentiation. Thirty-six cases showing positive staining for synaptophysin and/or chromogranin A in >= 50% of tumor cells were included in the study. All cases were female with a mean age of 67.4. Mean tumor diameter was 26 mm. Multifocality was noted in 5 cases. Grossly, they were mostly infiltrative mass lesions. T stages, identified in 34 cases, were as follows: 13 cases with pTl; 19 pT2 and 2 pT3. We described schematically 4 types of patterns depending on predominant growth pattern, except one case: 1) Large-sized solid cohesive groups (6 cases), 2) Small- to medium-sized solid cohesive groups with trabeculae/ribbons and glandular structures (6 cases), 3) Mixed growth patterns (20 cases), 4) Invasive tumor with prominent extracellular and/or intracellular mucin (3 cases). The tumor cells were mostly polygonal-oval with eosinophilic/eosinophilic-granular cytoplasm. The nuclei of tumor cells were mostly round to oval with evenly distributed chromatin. Only 5 cases showed high grade nuclear and histological features. Molecular subtypes of the cases were as follows: 33 luminal A, 2 luminal B, and 1 triple negative. NEBC should come to mind when a tumor display one of the morphological patterns described above, composed of monotonous cells with mild to moderate nuclear pleomorphism and abundant eosinophilic/eosinophilic granular or clear cytoplasm, especially in elderly patients.