Purpose Phyllodes tumors (PTs) are biphasic tumors accounting for 0.3–1.5% of all breast tumors. Epithelial membrane proteins (EMPs) have been reported in various malignant tumors but their expression in PTs is unclear. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the expression of EMP1, EMP2, and EMP3 in breast phyllodes tumors (PTs), and to investigate their clinical implications. Methods In total, 185 PTs were used for constructing a tissue microarray. Immunohistochemical staining for EMP1, EMP2, and EMP3 was performed, and the results were analyzed along with the clinicopathologic parameters. Results In total, 185 PTs were included in this study, and comprised 138 benign, 32 borderline, and 15 malignant PTs. In malignant PTs, the epithelial component showed decreased expression of EMP1 (P = 0.027), EMP2 (P = 0.004), and EMP3 (P = 0.032), compared to the benign and borderline PTs. Conversely, stromal component of borderline and malignant PTs showed higher expression of EMP1 (P = 0.027), EMP2 (P = 0.004), and EMP3 (P = 0.032) compared to benign PTs. Expression of EMP1 and EMP3 correlated positively with stromal cellularity and cellular atypia (P < 0.001). In the univariate analysis, stromal EMP3 was associated with shorter disease-free survival (P < 0.001), and shorter overall survival (P = 0.034). Conclusion The expression of EMP1, EMP2, and EMP3 is decreased in the epithelial component and is increased in the stromal component of PT with higher histologic grade. Thus, stromal EMP3 expression may serve as an independent prognostic factor in PT.
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© 2020 Cha, Koo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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