Clonal relationships between lobular carcinoma in situ and other breast malignancies

Breast Cancer Res. 2016 Jun 23;18(1):66. doi: 10.1186/s13058-016-0727-z.


Background: Recent evidence suggests that lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) can be a clonal precursor of invasive breast cancers of both the ductal and lobular phenotypes. We sought to confirm these findings with an extensive study of fresh frozen breast specimens from women undergoing mastectomy.

Methods: Patients with a history of LCIS presenting for therapeutic mastectomy were identified prospectively. Frozen tissue blocks were collected, screened for lesions of interest, and subjected to microdissection and DNA extraction. Copy number profiling, whole-exome sequencing, or both were performed. Clonal relatedness was assessed using specialized statistical techniques developed for this purpose.

Results: After exclusions for genotyping failure, a total of 84 lesions from 30 patients were evaluated successfully. Strong evidence of clonal relatedness was observed between an LCIS lesion and the invasive cancer for the preponderance of cases with lobular carcinoma. Anatomically distinct in situ lesions of both ductal and lobular histology were also shown to be frequently clonally related.

Conclusions: These data derived from women with LCIS with or without invasive cancer confirm that LCIS is commonly the clonal precursor of invasive lobular carcinoma and that distinct foci of LCIS frequently share a clonal origin, as do foci of LCIS and ductal carcinoma in situ.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Clonal relatedness; Copy number array; Lobular carcinoma in situ; Molecular pathology in clinical prevention; Premalignant lesions; Whole-exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Carcinoma In Situ / genetics*
  • Breast Carcinoma In Situ / pathology
  • Breast Carcinoma In Situ / surgery
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / surgery
  • Clonal Evolution / genetics*
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Exome
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy
  • Mutation