Accuracy and clinical implications of pre-operative breast core needle biopsy diagnoses of fibroepithelial neoplasms and sarcomatoid carcinomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Accurate classification of breast phyllodes tumors (PTs) on core biopsy can be challenging. The differential diagnosis of benign PT (BP) is fibroadenoma (FA), whereas the differential diagnosis of malignant PT (MP) is sarcomatoid (metaplastic) carcinoma (SC). Methods: Here, we compare the pre-excision core biopsy diagnosis and clinicopathologic features of histologically confirmed MP, borderline PT (BLP), BP, FA, and SC. Consecutive cases of 34 histologically confirmed PT (14 MP, 10 BLP, 10 BP), 13 SC, and 10 FA were identified. Results: A core biopsy diagnosis of SC was made only in SC (77%, p = 0.003). The diagnosis “malignant neoplasm” or “atypical spindle cell neoplasm” was made in 100% MP and 23% SC, but no other tumor (p = 0.0001). The diagnosis “phyllodes tumor” was made only in PT (44% BLP, 11% BP, p = 0.06). The diagnosis “fibroepithelial lesion” was made in 44% BLP, 67% BP, and 29% FA. The diagnosis “FA” was made most commonly in FA (57%) (versus 22% BP and no other tumor; p = 0.002). Neoadjuvant therapy was given only in SC (23%, p = 0.03); adjuvant therapy was given in 46% SC and 13% MP (p = 0.04). Conclusions: A pre-operative core biopsy diagnosis of “malignant spindle cell neoplasm” separates MP and SC from BLP, BP, and FA. However, MP and SC can have overlapping features on core biopsy. Thus, one must be careful not to overcall SC on core biopsy, as patients diagnosed with SC may receive neoadjuvant therapy. A core biopsy diagnosis of “phyllodes tumor” is specific for PT and can guide treatment planning of a wide local excision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume178
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Keywords

  • Core biopsy
  • Fibroepithelial lesion
  • Malignant phyllodes tumor
  • Phyllodes tumor
  • Sarcomatoid carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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