Characterization of spontaneous mammary gland carcinomas in female baboons

Jennifer A. Luth, Gene B. Hubbard, Edward J. Dick, Shellaine R. Frazier, Breton F. Barrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Spontaneous mammary gland carcinomas occurred in five baboons during a 13-year period at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research. The affected baboons ranged in age from 21 to 33years. Menopause in the baboon occurs at approximately 26years of age. All five animals had typical invasive ductal carcinoma. Morphologically, the tumors were characterized by neoplastic cells arranged from pseudopapillary and cribiform to more poorly differentiated solid cellular growth patterns. Additional features included lack of tubule formation (4/5), marked nuclear pleomorphism (5/5), a high mitotic rate (4/5) and tumor necrosis (4/5). Applying a grading system used for breast cancer in women, four tumors were graded as poorly differentiated carcinomas and one was graded as moderately differentiated. Co-existant ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) was observed in three of the mammary tumors. Metastases to the regional lymph nodes were confirmed in two animals, both with histological evidence of lymphovascular invasion in the primary tumor. Distant metastases were observed in only one animal. Immunohistochemical staining for human therapeutic markers revealed 2/5 tumors strongly positive for estrogen receptor, 1/5 strongly positive for progesterone receptor and 4/4 negative for HER2 expression. Although the incidence appears to be low, these five cases of mammary carcinoma in female baboons suggest that when present baboon mammary carcinoma is usually of ductal origin and behaves similar to a human breast carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of medical primatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Baboon
  • Cancer
  • Mammary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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