Purpose: To comprehensively characterize the clinical and biologic features of tubular and mucinous carcinomas in a large cohort of patients and to relate this to clinical outcome and management. Patients and Methods: The clinical and biologic features of 444 patients with tubular and 1,221 patients with mucinous carcinomas were compared with those of 43,587 patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, not otherwise specified (NOS). Disease- free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) for patients with tubular and mucinous carcinomas were compared with those of patients with NOS carcinomas and with age-matched sets from the general population. Results: Tubular and mucinous carcinomas were more likely to occur in older patients, be smaller in size (tubular only), have substantially less nodal involvement, be estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-positive, have a lower S-phase fraction, be diploid, and be c-erbB-2- and epidermal growth factor receptor- negative compared with NOS carcinomas. Axillary node involvement was a poor prognostic feature in mucinous but not tubular carcinomas. Mucinous carcinomas ≤ 1 cm had a ≤ 5% incidence of node involvement. The 5-year DFS and OS were 94% and 88% for tubular, 90% and 80% for mutinous, and 80% and 77% for NOS carcinoma, respectively (P < .001 for differences among all three types for both DFS and OS). The 5-year OS of females from the general population age-matched to the patients with tubular and mucinous carcinomas was 89% and 82%, respectively, which is not different from the OS of patients with tubular or mucinous carcinomas. Conclusion: The biologic phenotype of tubular and mucinous carcinomas is quite favorable. Consistent with this observation, the survival of patients with tubular and mucinous carcinomas is similar to that of the general population. Systemic adjuvant therapy and node dissection may be avoided in many patients with these special types of carcinoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research