Lobular neoplasia of the breast revisited with emphasis on the role of e-cadherin immunohistochemistry

David J. Dabbs, Stuart J. Schnitt, Felipe C. Geyer, Britta Weigelt, Frederick L. Baehner, Thomas Decker, Vincenzo Eusebi, Stephen B. Fox, Shu Ichihara, Sunil R. Lakhani, Jose Palacios, Emad Rakha, Andrea L. Richardson, Fernando C. Schmitt, Puay Hoon Tan, Gary M. Tse, Anne Vincent-Salomon, Ian O. Ellis, Sunil Badve, Jorge S. Reis-Filho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lobular neoplasia (LN) is a term that encompasses both lobular carcinoma in situ and atypical lobular hyperplasia. These lesions have been shown to constitute both risk indicators and nonobligate precursors of invasive breast cancer, they are relatively uncommon, and are most often identified in specimens taken for other reasons. Their incidence has increased in the last 2 decades, and novel variants, including a pleomorphic type, have been described. Loss of E-cadherin expression is recognized as a hallmark diagnostic feature of LN and invasive lobular carcinomas, and immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis using anti-E-cadherin antibodies has been proven to be a useful method to differentiate between lobular and ductal lesions. The frequent use of E-cadherin IHC analysis in routine diagnostic histopathology, however, has resulted in confusion with regard to the actual value of IHC with antibodies against E-cadherin and other proteins of the cadherincatenin complex. This review provides an update on recent clinicopathologic and molecular data on LN and invasive lobular carcinoma and a discussion about the use and limitations of IHC with E-cadherin in diagnostic breast pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e11
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Atypical lobular hyperplasia
  • Comparative genomic hybridization
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ
  • Lobular neoplasia
  • Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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