Histopathologic features of breast cancer in Li–Fraumeni syndrome

M. Gabriela Kuba, Susan C. Lester, Teresa Bowman, Samantha M. Stokes, Krishan L. Taneja, Judy E. Garber, Deborah A. Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in female patients with Li–Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a rare autosomal dominant hereditary syndrome characterized by germline TP53 mutations. Recent studies have shown that the majority of these tumors are estrogen receptor (ER) positive with frequent HER2 co-expression. However, the morphologic features of these tumors have not been as well studied as other germline-associated breast cancers. We evaluated the pathologic features of 27 invasive and in situ carcinomas from patients with known germline TP53 mutations collected through the Li–Fraumeni Consortium. Overall, 60% of cases were HER2 positive and 44% showed ER co-expression. Most DCIS was high nuclear grade with central necrosis and associated periductal fibrosis and lymphocytic response. Invasive carcinomas were mostly of ductal type (NOS), modified Scarff–Bloom–Richardson (mSBR) high grade, with marked nuclear atypia and high mitotic rate. Prominent tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, syncytial growth pattern, or pushing borders were not seen in these tumors. High p53 IHC expression was seen in tumors from individuals with germline TP53 missense mutations whereas little or no protein expression (<1% nuclear expression, null pattern) was seen in tumors from carriers of non-missense mutations. In this study, we report in detail the morphologic features of invasive and in situ carcinomas in LFS. We found that these tumors share features with cancers harboring somatic TP53 mutations but are distinct from BRCA-associated breast cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-548
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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