Triple negative breast carcinomas: Similarities and differences with basal like carcinomas

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The cDNA microarrays allows the classification of breast cancers into 6 groups: luminal A, luminal B, luminal C, normal breast-like, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive, and basal-like. This latter is characterized by the expression of basal cytokeratins (CKs), and frequent negativity for hormone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. There is a marked parallelism between triple negative breast carcinomas and basal-like carcinoma, but these are not equivalent terms. Estimated concordance is around 80%. CK5 seems to be the best marker for the identification of these tumors. Other good markers to identify these tumors are CK14, CK17, and epidermal growth factor receptor. A subset of triple negative breast carcinomas has myoepithelial differentiation, with positivities for smooth muscle actin, p63, S-100, and CD10 among others. Recent studies suggest that basal like carcinomas are originated from mammary stem cells. © 2009 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-494
JournalApplied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Breast carcinoma
  • Estrogen receptor
  • HER2
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Progesterone receptors


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