Clinicopathological features of infiltrating lobular carcinomas comparing with infiltrating ductal carcinomas: a case control study

World J Surg Oncol. 2010 Apr 27:8:34. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-8-34.


Background: Infiltrating lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most common type of invasive breast cancers and it has been reported to have some unique biologic and epidemiologic characteristics.

Methods: Clinicopathological features of 95 patients with ILC, their relapse free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were retrospectively investigated and compared with those of 3,621 patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma-not otherwise specified (IDC-NOS) between January 1984 and December 2005.

Results: ILC constitutes 2.3% of all invasive breast cancers. There were no difference between the ILC and the IDC-NOS groups regarding age at diagnosis, tumor size, nodal status, and treatment modalities except hormone therapy. The ILC group showed more estrogen receptor expression, less HER-2 expression and higher bilaterality. RFS and OS of the ILC patients were similar to those of the IDC. IDC-NOS metastasized more frequently to the lung and bone, whereas, ILC to the bone and ovary.

Conclusions: The incidence of ILC was relatively low in Korean breast cancer patients. Comparing to IDC-NOS ILC showed some different features such as higher estrogen receptor expression, less HER-2 expression, higher bilaterality and preferred metastatic sites of bone and ovary. Contralateral cancers and bone and ovary evaluation should be considered when monitoring ILC patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / therapy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptor, ErbB-2