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Analytical Cellular Pathology
Volume 19 (1999), Issue 2, Pages 53-58

Heterogeneity in Breast Cancer and the Problem of Relevance of Findings

M. Aubele1 and M. Werner2

1GSF – National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Pathology, Neuherberg, Germany
2Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Institute of Pathology, Munich, Germany

Received 15 August 1999; Accepted 16 November 1999

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many attempts are made to identify critical genetic events responsible for the development and progression of breast cancer. There is increasing evidence that breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, both, phenotypically as well as with respect to its molecular biologically. It is, therefore, extremely difficult to establish a diagnostically and prognostically relevant tumourigenesis model. Emerging new techniques such as microarrays, will provide us with a wealth of additional data over the next years. The precise sampling of tumour material in clearly defined histopathological lesions will be a prerequisite for the assignment of specific genetic alterations to defined stages of breast disease.