Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Introduction: Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) is defined as breast cancer with a heterologous non-glandular component. MBC is considered a special type of breast cancer with a prognosis that is worse than invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast. MBC is the most common breast cancer with a triple-negative profile. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the clinicopathological parameters, recurrence and survival of MBC in our population.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study in the Department of Histopathology at Prince Faisal Oncology Centre, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia, over a period of five years. All cases diagnosed as MBC were included in the study. Estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on representative tissue blocks.
Results: Total 183 cases of MBCs were included in the study, out of which 120 cases were excision specimens. The mean age of the patients was 48.84±12.99 years, and the most common age group was between 36 and 50 years of age. Most of the cases were tumor (T) stage T3 (50%), and nodal metastasis was present in 40% of cases. Most cases were grade III (78.7%). ER, PR and HER2/neu positivity was noted in 15.8%, 13.1%, and 9.8% cases, respectively. Follow-up data were available for 70 cases, with a median follow-up period of 4 (1-7) years. Tumor recurrence was noted in 31.4% cases, with a survival rate of 71.4%. Squamous, chondroid, spindle cell differentiation, and matrix production were noted in 70.5%, 7.1%, 13.7%, and 2.2% cases, respectively. A significant association of squamous differentiation was noted with HER2/neu positivity. An inverse association of spindle cell differentiation was seen with axillary metastasis. Survival analysis by Kaplan-Meier revealed a significant association of survival with tumor recurrence.
Conclusion: MBC is an important subtype of breast cancer, histopathological identification of which is challenging, owing to varied histological differentiation. We found squamous differentiation to be the most common in MBC, which was associated with HER2/neu positivity. A high recurrence rate of MBC was also observed in our study that was significantly associated with survival.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.