ER-negative breast carcinomas – An immunophenotypical study

Authors: Diana NARITA1, Natalia CIREAP2, Razvan ILINA2, Dragos IZVERNARIU3, Aurel ARDELEAN4, George PRIBAC4

Affiliation: 1 Department of Biochemistry, University of Medicine and Pharmacy „Victor Babes” Timisoara, Romania; 2 Department of Oncological Surgery, University of Medicine and Pharmacy „Victor Babes” Timisoara, Romania; 3 Department of Histology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy „Victor Babes” Timisoara, Romania; 4 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, “Vasile Goldis” Western University, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dental Medicine, Arad, Romania


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ABSTRACT. Our aim was to study the morphological and immunohistochemical characteristics of a series of breast carcinomas, in comparative manner, between ER-negative and ER-positive tumours and to establish immunophenotypes of the ER-negative breast carcinomas. We established the morphological diagnosis and grade of 80-selected breast carcinomas on haematoxylin-eosin samples; additional sections were immunostained for AR, PSA, ER and PR, HER2/neu. The presence of lymphoid infiltrate, comedo-type necrosis, fibrosis and bizarre tumour giant cells were the most common morphological features in the ER-negative tumours. The apocrine character and the clear cells changes, squamoid cells changes, the medullary character and the adenoid cystic pattern were found only in the ER-negative carcinomas. We observed a significant correlation between the expression of ER and the grade of differentiation, PR, AR, PSA and HER2/neu expression; the majority of ER-negative carcinomas were poorly differentiated, PR-, and PSA-negative, but AR- and HER2/neu positive. The most frequent ER-negative immunophenotype in our study was the triple-negative phenotype (ER-/PR-/HER-) and the majority of these cases were AR-positive. All HER2/neu positive cases were also AR-positive. Our study supports the emerging studies that suggest a cross talk between steroids receptors, HER2/neu and PSA in breast carcinomas.


Keywords: estrogen receptor, androgen receptor, HER2/neu, prostate-specific antigen