Breast adenoid cystic carcinomas (AdCCs) can pose diagnostic difficulty due to their rarity, particularly on limited biopsy material. Given that these tumors are triple-negative breast cancers with favorable prognosis, accurate diagnosis is critical for clinical management. A total of 12 cases of breast AdCCs were studied; 17 age-matched salivary gland AdCCs and 5 metastatic AdCCs (1 breast and 4 salivary gland primaries) were also examined. Immunohistochemical stains for SOX10, Ki-67, c-KIT, β-catenin, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), p63, cytokeratin 7 (CK7), cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6), and androgen receptor (AR) were performed. All breast (100%) and metastatic (100%) AdCCs and all but 2 salivary gland AdCCs showed diffuse nuclear staining (>50% of cells) for SOX10. Epithelial membrane antigen showed lowest expression in breast AdCCs and the highest expression in metastatic AdCCs (P <.01). Except one case of salivary gland AdCC that showed loss of β-catenin expression and developed subsequent metastasis, all AdCCs showed strong and diffuse membranous β-catenin expression. There were no significant differences in expression of CK7, p63, CK5/6, AR, Ki-67, and c-KIT (P >.05) among breast, salivary gland, and metastatic AdCCs. We investigated the immunophenotypic features of breast AdCCs in comparison with salivary gland and metastatic AdCCs. Despite the contrast in prognosis, these tumors are immunophenotypically similar. SOX10 is a sensitive diagnostic marker in all AdCCs, which could potentially aid in diagnosis of these tumors on limited material.
- adenoid cystic carcinoma