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June 1985

Differentiation of Metastatic Breast Carcinoma From Stewart-Treves Angiosarcoma: Use of Anti-Keratin and Anti-Desmosome Monoclonal Antibodies and Factor VIII-Related Antibodies

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Allen Park, Mich.

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(6):742-746. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660060056020

• A chronic brawny edema developed in the shoulder and arm ipsilateral to the site of a previous mastectomy in a 68-year-old woman. Bluish nodules and telangiectasia admixed with more superficial papules and plaques developed subsequently. Histologically, many of these lesions showed angiocentric clusters of large hyperchromatic tumor cells, often with lumina in the center. It was difficult to differentiate two possibilities, ie, postmastectomy angiosarcoma in lymphedema (Stewart-Treves syndrome) and nodulotelangiectatic metastasis of the original breast carcinoma. Monoclonal anti-keratin antibody and anti-desmosome antibody identified keratin and desmosomes in the tumor cells, whereas staining with factor VIII-related antigen yielded negative results. Electron microscopy revealed, in addition to keratin filaments and desmosomes, typical secretory cells and lumen formation. A combined use of specific monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies is helpful in the determination of tumor origins.

(Arch Dermatol 1985;121:742-746)

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