Lobular breast cancer: pathology, biology, and options for clinical intervention

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Lobular carcinoma is a breast cancer subtype comprising approximately 15 % of all breast cancer cases. Clinical diagnosis of this subtype is difficult due to a characteristic growth pattern that inhibits detection using palpation or standard X-ray mammography. While clinical intervention based on hormone antagonists has proven an effective strategy, hormone receptor negative or nonresponsive disease cannot be treated successfully, indicating the need for alternative curative approaches. In contrast to its well-defined histopathological characteristics that were first recognized a century ago, the surface of the underlying biology has only recently been scratched. Progress was made in understanding the biology of the disease, which will hopefully have its impact on future treatment modalities and initiate development of novel intervention strategies. Here, we review the pathological and molecular features of lobular breast cancer and report on the currently known mechanisms that control disease development and progression. Finally we will reflect on past, present, and future treatment options.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalArchivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating
  • Carcinoma, Lobular
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Precancerous Conditions


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