Hyperplasia of usual type (HUT) is part of the spectrum of benign proliferative disease in the breast and confers an increased risk of developing invasive cancer. Its role as a putative precursor of invasive ductal carcinomas in the breast is, however, controversial. HUT is occasionally seen bilaterally but it is not clear whether there is a genetic predisposition to the process. This study has analysed 14 cases of bilateral HUT in the breast (28 independent lesions) by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis to define DNA copy number changes and to investigate any commonality in these genetic alterations. The mean number of alterations seen was 1.6 (46/28) in all lesions, with common losses at chromosomes 1p, 16p, 17q, and 22q. Bilaterally, only five alterations were seen in common across both lesions in both breasts, but no single locus was altered preferentially. These data indicate that a proportion of HUT in the breast are indeed clonal, neoplastic proliferations which exhibit genetic alterations in common with invasive breast cancer, albeit at very low levels. The limited data from these experiments do not reveal a specific predisposition locus.
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.