GATA3 expression in breast carcinoma: Utility in triple-negative, sarcomatoid, and metastatic carcinomas

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Abstract

GATA3 plays an integral role in breast luminal cell differentiation and is implicated in breast cancer progression. GATA3 immunohistochemistry is a useful marker of breast cancer; however, its use in specific subtypes is unclear. Here, we evaluate GATA3 expression in 86 invasive ductal carcinomas including triple-negative, Her-2, and luminal subtypes, in addition to 13 metaplastic carcinomas and in 34 fibroepithelial neoplasms. In addition, we report GATA3 expression in matched primary and metastatic breast carcinomas in 30 patients with known estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and Her-2 status, including 5 with ER and/or PR loss from primary to metastasis. Tissue microarrays containing 5 to 10 cores per tumor were stained for GATA3, scored as follows: 0 (0-5%), 1+ (6%-25%), 2+ (26%-50%), 3+ (51%-75%), and 4+ (>75%). GATA3 labeling was seen in 67% (66/99) of primary ductal carcinomas including 43% of triple-negative and 54% of metaplastic carcinomas. In contrast, stromal GATA3 labeling was seen in only 1 fibroepithelial neoplasm. GATA3 labeling was seen in 90% (27/30) of primary breast carcinomas in the paired cohort, including 67% of triple-negative carcinomas. GATA3 labeling was overwhelmingly maintained in paired metastases. Notably, GATA3 was maintained in all "luminal loss" metastases, which showed ER and/or PR loss. In conclusion, GATA3 expression is maintained between matched primary and metastatic carcinomas including ER-negative cases. GATA3 can be particularly useful as a marker for metastatic breast carcinoma, especially triple-negative and metaplastic carcinomas, which lack specific markers of mammary origin. Finally, GATA3 labeling may help distinguish metaplastic carcinoma from malignant phyllodes tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1349
Number of pages9
JournalHuman pathology
Volume44
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Breast carcinoma
  • GATA3
  • Metaplastic carcinoma
  • Metastatic breast carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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