Clinical Research Papers:

Mammography and ultrasound effective features in differentiating basal-like and normal-like subtypes of triple negative breast cancer

Zeng Zeng, Chun Jie Hou, Qiao Hong Hu, Ying Liu, Ceng Wang, Ran Wei and Xiao Ming Fan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:79670-79679. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19053

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Zeng Zeng1, Chun Jie Hou1, Qiao Hong Hu1, Ying Liu1, Ceng Wang1, Ran Wei1 and Xiao Ming Fan1

1Department of Ultrasound, Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Correspondence to:

Xiao Ming Fan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: triple negative breast cancer, ultrasound, mammography

Received: December 20, 2016     Accepted: June 26, 2017     Published: July 06, 2017


The aim of our study was to find effective features of mammography and ultrasound in differentiating Basal-like breast cancer (BBC) and Normal-like breast cancer (NBC), two subtypes of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). From January 2014 to March 2017, we retrospectively reviewed 91 patients who were pathologically confirmed as TNBC. According to immunohistochemical cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6) and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), TNBCs were classified into BBCs group and NBCs group. Both CK5/6 and EGFR were negative defined to be NBC, whereas if any of CK5/6 or EGFR was positive then defined as BBC. BBCs group concluded 65 (71.4%) cases and NBCs group concluded26 (28.6%) cases. Ultrasound images and mammograms were reevaluated by breast imaging experts according to the breast imaging reporting and data system (BI-RADS) 4th edition. On mammography, masses margins had significant differences between BBCs group and NBCs group (P = 0.024). Most BBCs margins exhibited microlobulated (30/64, 46.9%) or spiculated (25/64, 39.0%), whereas most NBCs margins exhibited microlobulated (17/23, 73.9%). On ultrasound, BBCs were more frequently to present as larger than 20mm lesions (52/65, 80.0%) and more likely to have angular or spiculated margins (35/65, 53.8%), additionally, compared with NBCs, BBCs were less likely to have calcification (1/65, 1.5%). Other mammography and ultrasound features showed no significant differences between the two groups. In conclusion, we have found some effective features of mammography and ultrasound that could be helpful in differentiating BBC and NBC, which will provide some useful references for clinical diagnosis and treatment.

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