Virchows Archiv

, Volume 453, Issue 2, pp 123–132

Identification of molecular phenotypes in canine mammary carcinomas with clinical implications: application of the human classification

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00428-008-0644-3

Cite this article as:
Gama, A., Alves, A. & Schmitt, F. Virchows Arch (2008) 453: 123. doi:10.1007/s00428-008-0644-3


Similarly to humans, canine mammary cancer represents a heterogeneous group in terms of morphology and biological behaviour. In the present study, we evaluated a series of canine mammary carcinomas based on a new human classification, initially based on gene expression profiling analysis. Similarly to human breast cancer, by using an immunohistochemistry surrogate panel based on five molecular markers [estrogen receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), cytokeratin 5, p63 and P-cadherin], we were able to classify canine mammary carcinomas into four different subtypes: luminal A [estrogen receptor (ER)+/HER2−; 44.8%], luminal B (ER+/HER2+; 13.5%), basal (ER−/HER2− and a basal marker positive; 29.2%) and HER2 overexpressing tumours (ER−/HER2+; 8.3%). Luminal A-type tumours were characterised by lower grade and proliferation rate, whereas basal-type tumours were mostly high grade, high proliferative and positive for cytokeratin 5, p63 and P-cadherin. In addition, as in humans, basal subtype was significantly associated with shorter disease-free and overall survival rates, and we propose canine mammary carcinomas as a suitable natural model for the study of this particular subset of human carcinomas.


CanineMammary carcinomaImmunohistochemistryClassification

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Sciences, CECAVUniversity of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD)Vila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Medical FacultyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal