Histological markers that predict clinical recurrence in ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast: an Australian population-based study

Pathology. 2004 Jun;36(3):221-9. doi: 10.1080/00313020410001692558.


Aims: The incidence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has increased substantially since the advent of widespread screening mammography. Identification of histological markers that predict recurrent disease is essential for optimal treatment management. To assist the clinico-pathological stratification of DCIS, we sought to determine histological markers of recurrence in DCIS in an Australian population-based series.

Methods: In a study of all DCIS reported in Victoria between 1988 and 1992, managed by breast conserving therapy (wide local excision or subtotal mastectomy) with or without adjuvant radiotherapy and/or hormonal therapy, the histological features of DCIS lesions with subsequent ipsilateral recurrence as in situ or invasive breast cancer were compared with a similarly managed control group of DCIS without recurrence.

Results: Large lesion size, presence of nuclear pleomorphism, absence of cellular polarisation and extensive necrosis were all significant predictors of recurrence (P<0.05). Primary and recurrent DCIS lesions had similar morphological features, and invasive recurrence was characterised by ductal type with high nuclear grade.

Conclusion: This study identifies histological markers in DCIS associated with recurrence in an Australian population, and demonstrates similar histological appearances between primary and secondary lesions. These histological characteristics may be used to stratify DCIS subtypes and facilitate the future optimisation of disease management.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia
  • Breast Neoplasms / classification
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / classification
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / pathology*
  • Female
  • History, 17th Century
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Risk Factors