Vimentin expression in breast carcinomas

Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2003 Oct;46(4):579-84.


Epithelial malignancies expressing mesenchymal markers and their prognostic implications have been studied by various authors. In view of this, we studied fifty cases of breast carcinomas for vimentin expression and correlated the various clinical and histopathological parameters. Eighteen percent (9/50) of all breast carcinomas expressed vimentin. Vimentin positive tumours were predominantly larger in size (mean greatest diameter 5.43 cm), of higher TNM stage, node negative (55.56%), poorly differentiated (66.66%, p=0.0458) with high mitotic rate (>10/hpf, p=0.0000), Estrogen (88.88%) and Progesterone (77.77%) receptor negative thus pointing towards aggressive biological behavior. Interestingly 20% of well differentiated and 9.09% of moderately differentiated tumours also expressed vimentin. One vimentin positive case had pulmonary metastases despite being node negative while another well differentiated vimentin positive tumour showed skeletal muscle infiltration. Hence, we conclude that vimentin expression is an indicator of biologically aggressive tumours.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Vimentin / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Vimentin