Tumor-associated macrophages and crown-like structures in adipose tissue in breast cancer

Yoon Jin Cha, Eun Sol Kim, Ja Seung Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We aimed to evaluate macrophage infiltration and to identify the status of crown-like structures (CLSs) in mammary adipose tissue of human breast tissue in cases with and without breast cancer. Methods: Breast adipose tissue was obtained from reduction mammoplasty (N = 56, Group 1), non-neoplastic breast tissue of breast cancer patients (N = 84, Group 2), and breast cancer with adipose stroma (N = 140, Group 3). Immunohistochemical staining of CD68 and CD163 was performed, and the infiltrating macrophages and CLSs within breast adipose tissue were evaluated. Results: Group 3 had the largest number of CD68-positive (CD68 + ) and CD163-positive (CD163 + ) macrophages and CLSs within adipose tissue (P < 0.001). Among Group 3, cases with high levels of CD68 + and CD163 + macrophages commonly had a higher histologic grade (P = 0.016 and P = 0.045), and cases with CD163 + CLSs were correlated with old age (P = 0.042), estrogen receptor negativity (P = 0.013), human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 positivity (P = 0.043), and non-luminal A type (P = 0.039). Upon univariate analysis, high levels of CD163 + macrophages were associated with shorter disease-free survival in node-negative breast cancer patients (P = 0.033), and CD68 + CLSs were associated with shorter overall survival in node-positive breast cancer patients (P = 0.015). Conclusions: CD68 + and/or CD163 + tumor-associated macrophage infiltration as well as CLSs are present in adipose tissue nearby the breast cancer lesion, and are associated with various clinicopathologic parameters of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-25
Number of pages11
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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