Triple-negative and HER2 positive ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast: characteristics, behavior, and biomarker profile

Satoshi Takahashi, Aye Aye Thike, Valerie Cui Yun Koh, Hironobu Sasano, Puay Hoon Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We compared the characteristics, clinical behavior, and biomarker profile between HER2 positive (HER2+) and triple-negative (TN) ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) which are considered more aggressive than other DCIS subtypes. In addition, we explored the impact of these features on its potential of progression to invasive breast carcinomas. Cases of DCIS diagnosed at the Department of Pathology, Singapore General Hospital from 1994 to 2010 were identified. TN and HER2+ DCIS cases formed the study cohort. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed for ER, PR, HER2, CK14, EGFR, and p53. Comparisons of clinicopathological features, IHC results, and clinical outcomes were performed between the two groups. We evaluated 145 HER2+ and 85 TN DCIS cases. HER2 positive DCIS had significantly higher nuclear grade (p < 0.001) and more frequent necrosis (p < 0.001) than TN DCIS. HER2 positive DCIS also harbored significantly higher rates of nuclear p53 immunoreactivity (p = 0.002) than TN DCIS. Younger patients (age < 40) with HER2+ and TN DCIS demonstrated statistically significant worse invasive DFS than older women (p < 0.001). Multivariate cox regression analysis (HR 15.08, 95% CI 12.79–81.45, p = 0.002) also confirmed these findings. In addition, younger patients (age < 40) with HER2+ DCIS experienced significantly poorer prognosis when p53 was also positive (p = 0.033). HER2+ DCIS had more aggressive pathological characteristics compared to TN DCIS; accumulation of mutant p53 could possibly be contributory. Age was an independent predictor of aggressive biological behavior of HER2+ and TN DCIS. We demonstrated that younger patients with p53 positive HER2+ DCIS had significantly adverse clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-283
Number of pages9
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 1


  • Biomarkers
  • Clinicopathological features
  • DCIS
  • HER2
  • Recurrence
  • Triple-negative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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