Peripheral nerve sheath tumors of the breast

Semin Diagn Pathol. 2017 Sep;34(5):420-426. doi: 10.1053/j.semdp.2017.05.011. Epub 2017 May 27.


Benign and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors can involve the breast, presenting as masses in the dermis, deep breast parenchyma or axillary soft tissue. Although the histologic features are frequently characteristic, diagnosis can be challenging on core needle biopsy, and the differential diagnosis includes a variety of other benign and malignant spindle cell lesions of the breast. Here, we review the key clinical and pathological features of breast schwannoma, neurofibroma, granular cell tumor, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor.

Keywords: Breast; Granular cell tumor; MNPST; Neurofibroma; Peripheral nerve sheath tumor; Schwannoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Granular Cell Tumor / chemistry
  • Granular Cell Tumor / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurilemmoma / chemistry
  • Neurilemmoma / pathology*
  • Neurofibroma / chemistry
  • Neurofibroma / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor