HER2 positive and HER2 negative classical type invasive lobular carcinomas: Comparison of clinicopathologic features

Lin He, Ellen Araj, Yan Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive (+) classical type invasive lobular carcinoma (cILC) of the breast is extremely rare and its clinicopathologic features have not been well characterized. We compared features of HER2(+) and HER2 negative (−) cILCs. A total of 29 cases were identified from the clinical database at our institution from 2011-2019; 9 were HER2(+) cILC tumors and 20 were HER2(−) cILC tumors. The results reveal that HER2(+) cILC group had significantly increased Ki-67 expression and reduced estrogen receptor (ER) expression compared to HER2(−) cILC group (both p < 0.05). In addition, HER2(+) cILCs tended to be diagnosed at a younger age and more common in the left breast, and appeared to have a higher frequency of nodal or distant metastases. These clinicopathologic features suggest HER2(+) cILC tumors may have more aggressive behavior than their HER2(−) counterpart although both groups of tumors showed similar morphologic features. Future directions of the study: (1) To conduct a multi-institutional study with a larger case series of HER2(+) cILC to further characterize its clinicopathologic features; (2) to compare molecular profiles by next generation sequencing (NGS) assay between HER2(+) cILC and HER2(−) cILC cases to better understand tumor biology of this rare subset of HER2(+) breast cancer; and (3) to compare molecular characteristics of HER2(+) cILC and HER2(+) high grade breast cancer in conjunction with status of tumor response to anti-HER2 therapy to provide insight to management of this special type of low grade breast cancer to avoid unnecessary treatment and related toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1608-1617
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Classical type
  • ER
  • HER2
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma
  • Ki-67

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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