Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 225–235 | Cite as

N-cadherin Expression in Breast Cancer: Correlation with an Aggressive Histologic Variant – Invasive Micropapillary Carcinoma

  • Chandandeep Nagi
  • Mitchell Guttman
  • Shabnam Jaffer
  • Rui Qiao
  • Rinat Keren
  • Aymara Triana
  • Maomi Li
  • James Godbold
  • Ira J. Bleiweiss
  • Rachel B. Hazan


Upregulation of N-cadherin in epithelial tumor cells has been shown to contribute to the invasive/metastatic phenotype. It remains however to be determined whether N-cadherin is increased in human breast cancers with enhanced malignant potential. We examined a large number of invasive breast cancer specimens (n=114) for N- and E-cadherin. These specimens compared invasive duct carcinomas (IDCs) of varying histologic grades with an aggressive subtype, invasive micropapillary carcinoma of the breast (MPAP), which has a high propensity for lymphatic invasion and lymph node metastasis. Staining scores for N- and E-cadherin were compared between non-MPAP and MPAP IDCs, and between the invasive and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of each IDC using statistical analysis. We found that N-cadherin was expressed in 76% of MPAP and 52% of non-MPAP carcinomas, and E-cadherin in 57% of MPAP and 36% of non-MPAP tumors. More MPAP (25%) compared to non-MPAP (5%) tumors expressed both cadherins. Of the two cadherins, N-cadherin was significantly associated with MPAP tumors (p=0.033) compared to E-cad (p=0.171). Moreover, in the majority of tumors that were positive for N-cadherin, the staining scores were increased in the IDC relative to intraductal components, and this effect was more dramatic in the MPAP carcinomas. This difference for N-cadherin was greater than the corresponding difference for E-cadherin in the MPAP group (p=0.005), whereas such changes were not significant in the non-MPAP group (p=0.10). Thus, N-cadherin is associated with tumor aggressiveness and metastatic potential and may contribute to tumor progression.


breast cancer invasive micropapillary carcinoma metastasis N-cadherin tumor aggressiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chandandeep Nagi
    • 1
  • Mitchell Guttman
    • 1
  • Shabnam Jaffer
    • 1
  • Rui Qiao
    • 2
  • Rinat Keren
    • 4
  • Aymara Triana
    • 2
  • Maomi Li
    • 4
  • James Godbold
    • 3
  • Ira J. Bleiweiss
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rachel B. Hazan
    • 4
  1. 1.Departments of PathologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Oncological SciencesMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Community MedicineMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of PathologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA

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