Neuroendocrine neoplasms of the breast (Br-NENs) are rare tumors of the mammary gland. Their definition and classification have been a matter of discussion for more than half a century, as they present some degree of overlap with other malignancies in the mammary gland. The recent evolutions in the understanding of the pathogenesis of neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) as well as the novel tools in the diagnostic arsenal of the pathologists, and a better correlation with clinical data, have led to improved classification schemes for these entities, beginning from those arising in digestive and thoracic organs. These new classification concepts have been recently expanded to NENs arising in every anatomical site, with the proposal of a common classification framework that has been applied in the 5th edition of the WHO classification of tumors. These concepts include the recognition of two distinct families of NENs (neuroendocrine tumors, NETs, and neuroendocrine carcinomas, NECs), the identification of mixed neuroendocrine/non-neuroendocrine neoplasms, and the application of definite morphological and immunohistochemical criteria for the diagnosis of NENs. The last WHO classification of Br-NENs, however, still seems to leave several unanswered questions and unmet needs in the understanding of diagnostic and clinical features of these entities. This review will critically revise the current classification of Br-NENs, underlining its lights and shadows and focusing on the identification of diagnostic histopathological criteria that can help the univocal recognition of Br-NET, Br-NEC, and Br-MiNEN.

The classification of neuroendocrine neoplasms of the breast and its clinical relevance

Uccella S.
2021

Abstract

Neuroendocrine neoplasms of the breast (Br-NENs) are rare tumors of the mammary gland. Their definition and classification have been a matter of discussion for more than half a century, as they present some degree of overlap with other malignancies in the mammary gland. The recent evolutions in the understanding of the pathogenesis of neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) as well as the novel tools in the diagnostic arsenal of the pathologists, and a better correlation with clinical data, have led to improved classification schemes for these entities, beginning from those arising in digestive and thoracic organs. These new classification concepts have been recently expanded to NENs arising in every anatomical site, with the proposal of a common classification framework that has been applied in the 5th edition of the WHO classification of tumors. These concepts include the recognition of two distinct families of NENs (neuroendocrine tumors, NETs, and neuroendocrine carcinomas, NECs), the identification of mixed neuroendocrine/non-neuroendocrine neoplasms, and the application of definite morphological and immunohistochemical criteria for the diagnosis of NENs. The last WHO classification of Br-NENs, however, still seems to leave several unanswered questions and unmet needs in the understanding of diagnostic and clinical features of these entities. This review will critically revise the current classification of Br-NENs, underlining its lights and shadows and focusing on the identification of diagnostic histopathological criteria that can help the univocal recognition of Br-NET, Br-NEC, and Br-MiNEN.
Breast
Classification
Histopathological criteria
Neuroendocrine carcinoma
Neuroendocrine neoplasm
Neuroendocrine tumor
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/69296
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