Correlation of Basal Marker Expression in Triple Negative and Non-Triple Negative Breast Carcinomas
Background: Breast cancer is a multifaceted disease comprising of distinct biological subtypes and various molecular features with different prognostic and therapeutic implications. Breast cancers with ER/PR negative, HER2 negative phenotype are classified as triple negative tumours and have poor prognosis and therapy response. Four basal like markers, namely CK5/6, CK14, CK17 and EGFR of which at least two should be positive to be termed as Basal-like breast cancer. Basal-like breast cancers (BLBC) are often called triple negative (TN) breast cancers. Although, a significant overlap was observed between the triple-negative breast cancer and BLBC, triple negativity should not be used as a surrogate marker for the basal-like breast cancers.
The aim of the study is to show the importance of basal markers in diagnosis of triple negative/non triple negative breast cancers.
Materials and Methods: The study was performed for the expression of ER, PR, HER2, CK 5/6 and EGFR by Immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 48 breast carcinoma patients who underwent for radical mastectomy and cases had triple negative phenotype were correlated with basal markers for any significance.
Results: Out of 48 breast carcinoma cases, 21 were triple negative. 15 (71.4%) TN cases showed basal marker positivity as compared to 62.9% of non-TN cases.
Conclusions: Expression of basal markers was more among the triple negative breast carcinomas. However, not all basal-like cancers lack ER, PR and HER2 expression and conversely not all triple negative cancers show a basal-like expression.
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