Monoclonality in fibroadenomas with complex histology and phyllodal features

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1998 Jul;50(2):185-91. doi: 10.1023/a:1006050208157.


Fibroadenoma is a common cause of benign breast masses in young women. These women have a slightly increased risk of subsequent breast cancer, particularly if their tumors have complex histologic patterns. We assessed monoclonality in fibroadenomas and correlated the results with histologic analysis. We performed a clonal analysis of 52 fibroadenomas from 43 patients using X-chromosome inactivation studies. The cases included fibroadenomas with complex and simple histology. Areas examined were predominantly stroma but epithelium was also present. DNA was isolated from paraffin-embedded tissue and was subjected to polymerase chain reaction amplification of the human androgen receptor gene with and without predigestion of the DNA with Hha 1. If a monoclonal process was identified, the epithelial and stromal components were subsequently microdissected and reanalyzed. 36/43 (83.7%) women were heterozygous. We studied 45 tumors in these 36 informative women. 1/20 (5% complex fibroadenomas and 1/25 (4%) simple fibroadenomas were monoclonal. The epithelial component of both monoclonal fibroadenomas was polyclonal. The one monoclonal simple fibroadenoma was also the only one with mixed features to contain a phyllodes component. In this case, monoclonality was found in the stroma of both the fibroadenoma and phyllodes regions. Monoclonality has been previously associated with phyllodes phenotype, but not with fibroadenomas, except for 3 fibroadenomas that recurred as phyllodes tumor. We report that monoclonality may also be seen occasionally in complex fibroadenomas, and was found in a tumors with mixed fibroadenoma/phyllodes features without clinical recurrence for 4 years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • DNA Primers
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic*
  • Female
  • Fibroadenoma / genetics*
  • Fibroadenoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Phyllodes Tumor / genetics*
  • Phyllodes Tumor / pathology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA Primers