Published: 2018-07-25

Role of p63 expression in non-proliferative and proliferative lesions of breast

Nidhi Verma, Bhavna Sharma, Preeti Singh, S. P. Sharma, Monika Rathi, Dheeraj Raj


Background: Breast lump among females, is a fairly common complaint. Breast lump have a variety of etiologies ranging from inflammatory to benign to malignant lesions. Myoepithelial markers are useful in helping to distinguish invasive carcinoma from benign proliferations with a similar morphological appearance, benign proliferative lesions and most pre-invasive lesions with an intact myoepithelium. Invasive carcinomas lack the myoepithelial cell layer that normally surrounds benign breast glands. p63 antibody is a myoepithelial cell marker that selectively stains nuclei. Also, it is negative in stromal, myofibroblastic and adipocytic cells. This makes p63 more specific and superior to other myoepithelial markers.

Methods: The present study was done on a total of 151 cases of breast diseases, received in the form of core biopsy, tru cut biopsy, lumpectomy, and mastectomy specimens. Clinical history and examination findings of the patients were collected in all the cases. All specimens were routinely processed and stained with haematoxylin and Eosin (H and E) stain and only 50 cases were subjected to immunohistochemical staining for p63.

Results: Out of total 151 cases, 09 were inadequate for evaluation, 96 cases benign and 46 malignant. In benign category, fibroadenoma was most common and infiltrating ductal carcinoma (NOS) was the most common in malignant category. Mean size of benign tumors was found to be less than that of malignant tumors. All malignant cases were negative for p63 expression. In the benign category, 88.6% cases showed positive expression for p63 while 11.4% were negative. Among the benign category, non-proliferative lesions were continuous positive, proliferative showed discontinuous positivity for p63.

Conclusions: Myoepithelial markers are useful in helping to distinguish invasive carcinoma from benign proliferations with a similar morphological appearance, benign proliferative lesions and most pre-invasive lesions with an intact myoepithelium. Invasive carcinomas lack the myoepithelial cell layer while in the benign category, non-proliferative lesions are continuous positive, proliferative lesions show discontinuous positivity for p63.


Breast carcinoma, Myoepithelial marker, Non-proliferative lesions p63, Proliferative lesions

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