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Keywords:

  • breast;
  • mixed type;
  • mucinous carcinoma;
  • neuroendocrine differentiation;
  • pure type

Although mucinous carcinoma (MC) of the breast is considered to originate from ductal carcinoma, it is not known whether mucinous growth begins in the intraductal carcinoma or later in the invasive carcinoma. In this study, 33 MC (16 pure without any ductal components, 10 mixed Type I with an intraductal component, seven mixed Type II with a common invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) component)) were examined to clarify the time when mucinous growth begins. Histochemical and immunohistochemical examinations of mucin revealed that mucinous growth can begin in the intraductal carcinoma and in the common IDC. Histological transition and clonality analysis using microsatellite markers supported that some MC originate from common IDC. The pure type of MC probably originates from the intraductal carcinoma, showing a micropapillary feature. Neuroendocrine differentiation, known to be associated with MC, seemed to create the main progress in the typical MC. Moreover, we analyzed the factors of a worse prognosis of mixed MC Type II, which was strongly suggested by the lymph node status. However, no explainable differences on the cell proliferating ability, or c-erbB-2 and p53 protein overexpression were found.