Genetic and Immunohistochemical Profiling of Mammary Hidradenoma and Comparison to Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma

Mod Pathol. 2023 Oct;36(10):100270. doi: 10.1016/j.modpat.2023.100270. Epub 2023 Jul 7.


Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is exceedingly rare in the breast, with <45 cases reported in the literature. Although estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor/human epidermal growth factor 2 triple-negative, MEC is characterized as a special subtype of breast carcinoma with significantly better prognosis than conventional basal-type tumors. Cutaneous hidradenoma (HA) is considered a benign adnexal neoplasm showing histomorphologic overlap with MEC. Rare cases of HA have also been reported in the breast, but these are relatively uncharacterized. In this study, we examined the clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical (IHC), and genetic features of 8 breast HAs, in comparison to 3 mammary MECs. All cases were positive for MAML2 break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization. Eight cases demonstrated a CRTC1::MAML2 fusion, and one MEC harbored a CRTC3::MAML2 fusion; the latter is a novel finding in the breast. Mutational burden was very low, with only one HA exhibiting a MAP3K1 pathogenic alteration. By IHC, both MEC and HA demonstrated cell type-dependent expression of high- and low-molecular-weight keratins and p63, as well as negative to low-positive estrogen receptor and androgen receptor. Smooth muscle myosin and calponin highlighted an in situ component in the 3 cases of MEC; expression of these myoepithelial markers was negative in HAs. Additional distinguishing characteristics included the growth pattern and tumor architecture, the presence of glandular/luminal cells in HA, and overall higher IHC expression of SOX10, S100 protein, MUC4, and mammaglobin in MEC. Morphologic findings were also compared to a series of 27 cutaneous nonmammary HAs. Mucinous and glandular/luminal cells were identified in significantly more mammary HAs than nonmammary lesions. The findings provide insight into the pathogenesis of MAML2-rearranged neoplasms of the breast, underscore the overlapping genetic features of MEC and HA, and highlight similarities to their extramammary counterparts.

Keywords: CRTC1; CRTC3; MAML2; adnexal neoplasm; breast cancer; hidradenoma; mucoepidermoid carcinoma; next-generation sequencing.