Gross cystic disease fluid protein 15 (GCDFP-15)

Author: Kara Hamilton, M.S. and Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 17 December 2015, last major update July 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: GCDFP-15
Cite this page: Gross cystic disease fluid protein 15 (GCDFP-15). website. Accessed July 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Also called BRST2, prolactin-induced protein (PIP)
  • Physiology: glycoprotein originally isolated in human breast gross cystic fluid
Uses by pathologists
  • Differentiate breast carcinoma metastatic to ovary (positive) from primary ovarian carcinoma (negative)
  • Marker of apocrine differentiation, including apocrine carcinoma of breast, although B72.3 may be more sensitive and specific (APMIS 2006;114:712)
  • Less sensitive but more specific than mammaglobin in breast carcinoma in tissue (Am J Clin Pathol 2007;127:103) and similar findings in fluids (Diagn Cytopathol 2009;37:475), but mammaglobin more specific in metastatic breast carcinoma to lung and pleura (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2008;132:239)
  • Differentiating primary vulvar Paget’s disease (positive) from vulvar Paget’s disease secondary to carcinoma (negative, Arch Pathol Lab Med 1998;122:1077)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on Pathout server:

Invasive apocrine
carcinoma of breast

Metastatic lobular carcinoma
in an endometrial polyp

Images hosted on other servers:

Breast (benign)

Metastatic to lung

Metastatic to stomach (fig 3C)

Images hosted on

Neuroendocrine carcinoma of breast

Poorly differentiated breast carcinoma (fig 2C)
Positive staining - normal
  • All apocrine, lacrimal, ceruminous and Moll's glands
  • All cutaneous eccrine glands
  • Numerous serous cells of submandibular, sublingual and minor salivary glands
  • Also serous cells of nasal and bronchial glands (Virchows Arch 1998;432:255)
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining