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Tara M A Saeed Tamara Almufty Fairuz A Kakasur Namir Ghanim Al-Tawil Hawler


Background: Diagnosis of certain types of breast cancer can be difficult due to similarities in their histopathological patterns. In such cases markers can be useful in confirming results. E-cadherin is one such marker.

Objective: To differentiate the rate of  E-cadherin immunohistochemical expression between the major histological types of breast cancer (lobular versus ductal),  in addition to correlating it to the clinicopathological factors such as age of patients and grade of the tumor and explore the effectiveness of using it in distinguishing the cases with overlapping features.

Patients and Methods: A total of 100 malignant breast samples (55 ductal lesions, 24 lobular lesions, and 21 uncertain types), collected during the period of 2014 – 2017 in Erbil, and were reviewed before undergoing E-cadherin immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining. The results from IHC were compared with the results from the morphological study of the samples and they were statistically analyzed in relation with clinicopathological factors. Results: The normal ductal cells had strong complete homogenous membrane E-cadherin reactivity in 85% of the ductal carcinoma cases. The complete absence of E-cadherin membrane staining occurred in all 24 cases of lobular cases. The rest of the 21 cases, showed variable degrees of staining.

Conclusion: There is diagnostic usefulness in the detection of E-cadherin expression by immunohistochemistry  as a tool in distinguishing ductal from lobular carcinoma.


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