Breast Pathology

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anna Sapino, Janina Kulka

Pleomorphic Lobular Carcinoma

  • Sofia AsioliEmail author
  • Chiara Baldovini
Reference work entry


Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma (PLC) is currently defined by the World Health Organization (Lakhani et al. 2012) as a rare variant of invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), exhibiting marked nuclear pleomorphism and cellular atypia. It may be associated with pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ (PLCIS), which refers to a lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) with high-grade cytological features. PLC was first documented by Martinez and Azzopardi (1979) then subsequently reported by Dixon (Dixon et al. 1982) and formally described by Page and Anderson (1987). Further characterization was provided in 1992 by Eusebi (Eusebi et al. 1992) and Weidner (Weidner and Semple 1992), who emphasized its aggressive behavior and poor clinical outcome.

Clinical Features

  • Incidence

    The exact incidence of PLC is unknown because of its rare occurrence and the lack of large case studies addressing this issue. Based on current literature, PLC represents approximately 10–15% of ILC, thus accounting for less...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Al-Baimani, K., Bazzarelli, A., et al. (2015). Invasive pleomorphic lobular carcinoma of the breast: Pathologic, clinical, and therapeutic considerations. Clinical Breast Cancer, 15, 421–425.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Butler, D., & Rosa, M. (2013). Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma of the breast: A morphologically and clinically distinct variant of lobular carcinoma. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, 137, 1688–1692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Derksen, P. W., Braumuller, T. M., et al. (2011). Mammary-specific inactivation of E-cadherin and p53 impairs functional gland development and leads to pleomorphic invasive lobular carcinoma in mice. Disease Models & Mechanisms, 4, 347–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dixon, J. M., Anderson, T. J., et al. (1982). Infiltrating lobular carcinoma of the breast. Histopathology, 6, 149–161.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Eusebi, V., Magalhaes, F., et al. (1992). Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma of the breast: An aggressive tumor showing apocrine differentiation. Human Pathology, 23, 655–662.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Jung, S. P., Lee, S. K., et al. (2012). Invasive pleomorphic lobularcarcinoma of the breast: Clinicopathologic characteristics and prognosis compared with invasive ductal carcinoma. Journal of Breast Cancer, 15, 313–319.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lakhani, S., Ellis, I., et al. (2012). WHO classification of Tumours of the breast (4th ed.). Lyon: IARC Press.Google Scholar
  8. Liu, Y. L., Choi, C., et al. (2017). Invasive lobular breast carcinoma: Pleomorphic versus classical subtype, associations and prognosis. Clinical Breast Cancer, 8209(16), 30558–30554.Google Scholar
  9. Martinez, V., & Azzopardi, J. G. (1979). Invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast: Incidence and variants. Histopathology, 3, 467–488.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Narendra, S., Jenkins, S. M., et al. (2015). Clinical outcome in pleomorphic lobular carcinoma: A case-control study with comparison to classic invasive lobular carcinoma. Annals of Diagnostic Pathology, 19, 64–69.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Page, D. L., & Anderson, T. J. (1987). Diagnostic histopathology of the breast. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
  12. Simpson, P. T., Reis-Filho, J. S., et al. (2008). Molecular profiling pleomorphic lobular carcinomas of the breast: Evidence for a common molecular genetic pathway with classic lobular carcinomas. Journal of Pathology, 215, 231–244.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Weidner, N., & Semple, J. P. (1992). Pleomorphic variant of invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast. Human Pathology, 23, 1167–1171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences (DIBINEM)-Surgical Pathology SectionAlma Mater Studiorum – University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Pathology UnitGiannina Gaslini InstituteGenoaItaly