ABSTRACT: Mucinous Cancers have Fewer Genomic Alterations than
More Common Classes of Breast Cancer
Mucinous cancers of the breast are distinguished histologically
by their abundant pools of mucin and low degree of nuclear
pleomorphism. Relative to the more common breast cancers of no
distinctive type (ductal carcinoma), mucinous cancers have a
relatively favorable prognosis.
In a study of chromosomal changes
in mucinous cancers, we evaluated the extent of loss of heterozygosity
(LOH) at chromosomal regions commonly deleted in usual infiltrating
ductal carcinoma, including markers on chromosomal arms 1p, 1q, 3p,
6q, 8p, 9p, 11p, 11q, 13q, 16q, 17p, and 17q.
Remarkably, we found
an average frequency of LOH of only 1.9 of these 12 chromosomal arms
in 18 cases of mucinous carcinoma, compared to an average frequency
of LOH of 6.4 of these same chromosomal arms in cases of infiltrating
In three of the 18 cases of mucinous carcinoma studied,
including one case with regional lymph node metastases, no LOH was
seen at any of the 12 chromosomal regions studied.
the possibility of other chromosomal loci being more commonly affected
in mucinous cancers and conducted comparative genomic hybridization
on six of the cases.
These studies demonstrated a low overall
frequency of genomic copy number changes (mean of 3.1 changes per
case) and failed to reveal any other chromosomal locus with frequent
losses that had not been evaluated by microsatellite analysis.
Together, these data indicate that mucinous cancers of the breast do
not have the extensive genomic alterations that are typically found
in more common variants of breast cancer.
Thus, mucinous cancers most
likely have less genetic instability than most other forms of breast
cancer and the molecular pathogenesis of this form of breast cancer
is likely to be substantially different than that of usual ductal
[11/04/2002; Breast Cancer Research and Treatment]
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