ISSN 1849-9031 (Online)

ISSN 1849-8922    (Print)

Breast carcinoma with neuroendocrine features: a brief review.
Petra Jurčić, Božo Krušlin, Zoran Gatalica, Souzan Sanati, Semir Vranić.


Breast carcinoma with neuroendocrine features (BCNF) is a rare entity that is defined by a neuroendocrine (NE) architecture and cytomorphology combined with an immunohistochemical expression of chromogranin A or B and/or synaptophysin. According to the 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) classification, they are classified into three subtypes: invasive breast carcinoma with NE differentiation, well-differentiated NE tumor, and poorly differentiated small cell carcinoma. BCNF are typically positive for the estrogen and progesterone receptor and negative for Her-2/ neu protein. The clinical features are not sufficiently specific to distinguish BCNF from other breast carcinomas. BCNF can mimic benign lesions on mammography, so the additional use of ultrasound or MRI can improve detection. Other imaging tests are useful to detect or rule out metastatic disease. Although standardized treatment guidelines have not yet been established, the mainstay of treatment for early BCNFs is surgery. Adjuvant treatment decisions should be individualized and should take into consideration the prognostic and predictive factors, clinical evidence and the patient’s overall health treatment preferences. Therapeutic options in the metastatic setting include surgery, chemotherapy, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy and molecular-targeted agents. These options are not mutually exclusive and are interchangeable.