Clinical, histopathologic, and biologic features of pleomorphic lobular (ductal-lobular) carcinoma in situ of the breast: a report of 24 cases

Mod Pathol. 2002 Oct;15(10):1044-50. doi: 10.1097/01.MP.0000027624.08159.19.


We reviewed 10 cases of pleomorphic lobular (ductal lobular) carcinoma in situ (PL/DLCIS) of the breast and compared them with 14 cases of pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ (PLCIS) found in association with invasive pleomorphic lobular carcinoma. The histologic features; immunohistochemical staining for estrogen receptors (ERs), p53, Ki67, E-cadherin, and gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 (GCDFP-15); and results of fluorescence in situ hybridization for HER-2/neu gene amplification were evaluated in all 24 cases. Histologically, PL/DLCIS cells were similar to those of PLCIS with invasion in that they were discohesive and medium to large in size with moderate to marked nuclear pleomorphism, small to prominent nucleoli, and moderate to abundant eosinophilic or vacuolated cytoplasm. In both groups, central necrosis was present in a small number of cases, and classic LCIS coexisted with the in situ lesion in less than half of the cases; in situ carcinomas were positive for ERs in 23 (100%) of 23 cases, p53 in 6 (25%) of 24 cases, and GCDFP-15 in 14 (74%) of 19 cases. The percentage of Ki67-positive tumor nuclei indicated moderate to high (more than 20%) proliferative activity in 8 (47%) of 17 cases. Immunostaining for E-cadherin was negative in all 24 cases. HER-2/neu gene amplification was observed in 1 (4%) of 23 cases. In cases with associated invasion, PLCIS had cytologic features and immunostaining patterns similar to those of the invasive pleomorphic component. Seven of the 10 patients who had PL/DLCIS without invasion underwent lumpectomy or simple mastectomy. Six of these patients had no evidence of disease in follow-up periods ranging from 4 to 32 months; the seventh patient developed recurrent disease 12 months after undergoing lumpectomy. We conclude that the cytologic features and biomarker expression profile of PL/DLCIS are similar to those of PLCIS with invasion but somewhat different from those of classic LCIS and ductal carcinoma in situ. Long-term follow-up studies are needed to further define the natural history of PL/DLCIS and its optimal management.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / chemistry
  • Carcinoma in Situ / genetics
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / pathology*
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Mastectomy, Segmental
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / analysis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptor, ErbB-2