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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(3):445-457

Original Article
Invasive cribriform carcinoma in a Chinese population: comparison with low-grade
invasive ductal carcinoma-not otherwise specified

Wei Zhang , Tongxian Zhang, Zhichun Lin, Xuebao Zhang, Fen Liu, Yahong Wang, Han Liu, Yiling Yang, Yun Niu

Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin Medical University, Ministry of Education and Key Laboratory of Cancer
Prevention and Therapy of Tianjin, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, West Huanhu Road, Ti Yuan Bei, Hexi District,
Tianjin 300060, China; Center for PET-CT, Pingjin Hospital, Logistics University of Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces, Chenglin Road,
Hedong District, Tianjin 300162, China; Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
48201, USA

Received December 6, 2012; Accepted January 15, 2013; Epub February 15, 2013; Published March 1, 2013

Abstract: Invasive cribriform carcinoma (ICC) and low-grade invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) were recently considered to belong to a low-
grade breast neoplasia family. However, none of publications has compared ICC and low-grade IDC at present. Meanwhile, in order to
evaluate prognostic significance of clinicopathological characteristics of different cribriform contents in ICC and invasive breast cancer with
less cribriform structures, a retrospective review of fifty-one cases of ICC and forty cases of invasive breast cancer with less cribriform pattern
(less than fifty percent) was conducted in a Chinese population. Forty-nine cases of low-grade IDC without cribriform elements were selected
as a control. ICC presented more favorable prognostic factors than those of invasive breast carcinoma with less cribriform pattern and low-
grade IDC, such as smaller tumor size, less frequent axillary lymph node involvement, higher positive rate of estrogen receptor and/or
progestogen receptor expression, and lower proliferation index. The expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor two in ICC and
invasive breast cancer with less cribriform pattern was mostly negative. Pure ICC showed less frequency of axillary lymph node involvement,
but not its number. The proliferation index in the pure type was lower, although the tumor size in these two types was not obviously different.
Tumors contained cribriform structures had a more favorable prognosis than those with low-grade IDC. Considering the tumor biology, and the
benign course of pure ICC studied, chemotherapy may not be indicated in the typical case. (IJCEP1212010).

Keywords: Invasive cribriform carcinoma, invasive ductal carcinoma, breast, prognosis, China

Address correspondence to: Yun Niu, Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin Medical University, Ministry of Educa-
tion and Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy of Tianjin, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, West Huanhu
Road, Ti Yuan Bei, Hexi District, Tianjin 300060, China. Tel: +86-22-2334-123-6006; Fax: +86-22-2334012306026; E-mail: yunniu2000@126.
com