Molecular cytogenetic characterization of mammary neuroendocrine carcinoma

De Bing Xiang, Bing Wei, Susan C. Abraham, Lei Huo, Constance T. Albarracin, Hong Zhang, Gildy Babiera, Abigail S. Caudle, Catherine L. Akay, Pulivarthi Rao, Yi Jue Zhao, Xinyan Lu, Yun Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Summary Primary mammary neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) is an uncommon entity that accounts for 2% to 5% of breast carcinomas. Recent reports have shown that NEC of the breast is an aggressive subtype of mammary carcinoma that is distinct from invasive ductal carcinoma, not otherwise specified, and have suggested that these tumors have a poorer prognosis than invasive ductal carcinoma, not otherwise specified. In this study, we provide the first cytogenetic characterization of mammary NEC using both conventional G-banding and spectral karyotype on a group of 7 tumors. We identified clonal chromosomal aberrations in 5 (71.4%) cases, with 4 of them showing complex karyotypes. Of these, recurrent numerical aberrations included gain of chromosome 7 (n = 2) and loss of chromosome 15 (n = 2). Recurrent clonal structural chromosomal aberrations involved chromosomes 1 (n = 3), 3 (n = 2), 6q (n = 3), and 17q (n = 3). Of the 4 (57.1%) cases with complex karyotypes, 2 showed evidence of chromothripsis, a phenomenon in which tens to hundreds of genomic rearrangements occur in a one-off cellular crisis. One of these had evidence of chromothripsis involving chromosomes 1, 6, 8, and 15. The other also had evidence of chromosome 8 chromothripsis, making this a recurrent finding shared by both cases. We also found that mammary NEC shared some cytogenetic abnormalities - such as trisomy 7 and 12 - with other neuroendocrine tumors in the lung and gastrointestinal tract, suggesting trisomy 7 and 12 as potential common molecular aberrations in neuroendocrine tumors. To our knowledge, this is the first report on molecular cytogenetic characterization of mammary NEC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1951-1956
Number of pages6
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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