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Markers of metastatic carcinoma of breast origin

By Gown AM, Fulton RS, Kandalaft PL.

Histopathology. 2016 Jan;68(1):86-95. doi: 10.1111/his.12877.

This review summarizes the three major breast-associated markers that can be of assistance in evaluating metastatic carcinomas for which a breast primary diagnosis is entertained. These markers include gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 (GCDFP-15), mammaglobin, and GATA3. The first two are cytoplasmic markers that show comparable sensitivities for breast cancer, although relatively few of the published studies have employed the same antibodies against the target molecule, making direct comparisons challenging. GATA3 is a nuclear transcription factor that shows superior sensitivity to GCDFP-15 and mammaglobin. However, the specificity of GATA3 can pose challenges, inasmuch as carcinomas of the bladder and other sites can show significant levels of positivity. Determination of the optimal panel of antibodies employed in a given clinical setting will thus depend on the non-breast tumours included in the differential diagnosis.

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