Encyclopedia of Pathology

Living Edition
| Editors: J.H.J.M. van Krieken

Invasive Carcinoma with Medullary Features

  • Cecily Quinn
  • Clare D’Arcy
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28845-1_4714-2



The WHO Classification of Tumors of the Breast recommends the use of the collective term “Carcinoma with Medullary Features” to encompass tumors previously diagnosed as classical medullary carcinoma (classical MC), atypical medullary carcinoma (atypical MC), and a subgroup of invasive breast carcinoma of no special type (NST) with medullary characteristics (Lakhani et al. 2012).

These tumors are characterized by the following histological features:
  1. 1.

    An expansile or pushing border

  2. 2.

    A syncytial growth pattern

  3. 3.

    High cytonuclear grade

  4. 4.

    A prominent lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate


These diagnostic criteria are less strict than the original criteria proposed by Ridolfi et al. for a diagnosis of classical MC which requires complete circumscription, a...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Badve, S., Dabbs, D., Schnitt, S., Baehner, F., Decker, T., Eusebi, V., et al. (2010). Basal-like and triple-negative breast cancers: A critical review with an emphasis on the implications for pathologists and oncologists. Modern Pathology, 24, 157–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  3. Dua, I., & Tan, A. R. (2017). Immunotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer: A focus on immune checkpoint inhibitors. American Journal of Haematology and Oncology, 13, 20–27.Google Scholar
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  6. Flucke, U., Flucke, M., Hoy, L., Breuer, E., Goebbels, R., Rhiem, K., et al. (2010). Distinguishing medullary carcinoma of the breast from high-grade hormone receptor-negative invasive ductal carcinoma: An immunohistochemical approach. Histopathology, 56, 852–859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hicks, D. G., & Lester, S. C. (2017). Carcinoma with medullary features. Available from: https://app.expertpath.com. Accessed Sept 2014.
  8. Huober, J., Gelber, S., Coates, A. S., Viale, G., Ohlschlegel, C., et al. (2012). Prognosis of medullary breast cancer: Analyses of 13 international breast cancer study group (IBCSG) trials. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 11, 2843–2851.Google Scholar
  9. Jacquemier, J., Padovani, L., Rabayrol, L., Lakhani, S., Penault-Llorca, F., Denoux, Y., et al. (2005). Typical medullary breast carcinomas have a basal/myoepithelial phenotype. The Journal of Pathology, 207, 260–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lakhani, S., Ellis, I. O., Schnitt, S. J., Tan, P. H., & van de Vijver, M. J. (2012). WHO classification of tumours of the breast (pp. 46–47). Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistopathologyIrish National Breast Screening Programme and St. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity College DublinDublinIreland