logo logo
Search: Organ site Search: Tumor / Syndrome
WHO Classification of Tumours
Pleomorphic carcinoma


Pleomorphic carcinoma is a rare, usually aggressive variant of high grade invasive ductal carcinoma, NOS . It is characterized by pleomorphic and bizarre tumour giant cells in a background of adenocarcinoma or adenocarcinoma with spindle and squamous differentiation
Click to access Pubmed
Silver SA, Tavassoli FA (2000)
Pleomorphic carcinoma of the breast: clinicopathological analysis of 26 cases of an unusual high-grade phenotype of ductal carcinoma.
Histopathology 36: 505-14

; in most cases, the giant cells make up >75% of tumour cells. Mitotic activity is high. The mean tumour size is 5.4 cm. Cavitation and necrosis are observed in larger tumours. Lymphovascular invasion occurs in approximately 20% of cases.
Pleomorphic carcinomas have been observed in women of 28 to 96 years of age (median 51 years). Patients typically present with a palpable mass. The disease is frequently in an advanced stage at presentation. In 50% of the patients, axillary node metastases are present. The prognosis is unfavourable

Click for details
Tavassoli FA, Devilee P (Eds.)
World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of the Breast and Female Genital Organs.
3rd Edition
IARC Press: Lyon 2003