Salivary duct carcinomas can be classified into luminal androgen receptor-positive, HER2 and basal-like phenotypes
Di Palma, S
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Aims: The aim of this study was to devise a molecular classification for salivary duct carcinomas (SDCs) based on the similarities between SDCs and breast carcinomas and on characteristics of the microarray-based gene expression profiling-defined molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Methods and results: Forty-two pure salivary duct carcinomas, 35 of which contained an in-situ component as defined by histological review and/or immunohistochemical analysis, were stained with antibodies for oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), androgen receptor (AR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cytokeratin (CK) 5/6. Based on these markers, tumours were classified into HER2, luminal androgen receptor-positive, basal-like, luminal and indeterminate phenotype. Analysis revealed that 16.7%, 69%, 4.8%, 9.5% and 0% were of HER2, luminal androgen receptor-positive, basal-like, indeterminate and luminal phenotype, respectively. The in-situ and invasive components displayed the same molecular subtype in all but one case. Conclusions: Salivary duct carcinomas can be classified into molecular subgroups approximately equivalent to those in the breast. We also report on the existence of a subgroup of bona fide pure salivary duct carcinomas that have a ‘basal-like’ phenotype. Understanding the phenotypic complexity of SDCs may help to expedite the identification of novel therapeutic targets for these aggressive tumours.
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HISTOPATHOLOGY, 2012, 61 pp. 629 - 643