Research Papers:

The associations between mast cell infiltration, clinical features and molecular types of invasive breast cancer

Jianfeng Sang _, Dandan Yi, Xiaoqiao Tang, Yifen Zhang and Tao Huang

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:81661-81669. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13163

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Jianfeng Sang1,*, Dandan Yi2,*, Xiaoqiao Tang1, Yifen Zhang3, Tao Huang2

1Department of General Surgery, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Gulou District, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu Province, China

2Department of General Surgery, Drum Tower Clinical Medical College of Nanjing Medical University, Gulou District, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu Province, China

3Department of Pathology, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Jiangsu Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qinhuai District, Nanjing 210009, Jiangsu Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Tao Huang, email: [email protected]

Yifen Zhang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer, mast cell, estrogen receptor, progestogen receptor

Received: August 16, 2016     Accepted: October 19, 2016     Published: November 07, 2016


Associations between mast cell infiltration and the clinical features and known molecular profile of breast cancer remain unclear. The distribution difference of mast cell was evaluated, in 219 patients with no special type of invasive carcinoma, using sorts of age, max diameter of cancer, histological type, lymph node metastasis as well as the expressions of estrogen receptor (ER), progestogen receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) and nuclear protein Ki67. The mast cell density (MCD) in patients younger than 50 years old was significantly higher than that in patients with age ≥ 50. The MCD in ER or PR positive patients was significantly higher than MCD in ER or PR negative patients. The MCD in patients with Ki67 ≤ 14% was also significantly higher than MDC in patients with Ki67 > 14%. The MCD of patients with invasive ductal carcinoma was significantly higher than MCD of patients with invasive lobular carcinoma. No significant distribution difference of MCD was found to be associated with max diameter of cancer, lymph node metastasis and HER-2. Further analysis found that MDC was significantly higher in patients after neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. The distribution difference of mast cell widely exists in patients with distinct clinical features, the role of mast cell in breast cancer need further research with detailed and reasonable classification to clarify.

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