Metaplastic carcinoma of the breast

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2015 Jun;139(6):819-22. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2013-0358-RS.


Metaplastic carcinoma of the breast is a rare but aggressive type of breast cancer that has been recognized as a unique pathologic entity by the World Health Organization. Morphologically, it is characterized by the differentiation of neoplastic epithelium into squamous cells and/or mesenchymal-looking elements (squamous cells, spindle cells, cartilage or bone, etc). It shares many similarities with invasive ductal carcinoma and benign lesions on mammography, which further complicates the diagnosis. Treatment for metaplastic breast carcinoma is relatively unknown because of the rarity of the disease, but studies suggest that removal of the tumor and adjuvant radiation therapy has the greatest benefit.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ifosfamide / administration & dosage
  • Metaplasia / surgery
  • Metaplasia / therapy
  • Prognosis


  • Etoposide
  • Ifosfamide