Other carcinoma subtypes, not WHO classified

Tubulolobular carcinoma

Last author update: 1 August 2012
Last staff update: 16 August 2022

Copyright: 2001-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: tubulolobular carcinoma breast

Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.
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Cite this page: Roychowdhury M. Tubulolobular carcinoma. website. Accessed September 28th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Not part of WHO breast classification
  • Median age 60 years, range 43 - 79 years
Prognostic factors
  • Intermediate prognostic features between lobular and ductal carcinoma
  • Best prognosis if unilateral and < 2 cm
  • 25% present with greater than stage I disease, compared to 0% with tubular and 60% with lobular carcinoma (Mod Pathol 2007;20:130)
  • Axillary nodal metastases in 13 - 43%
Case reports
Gross description
  • 0.5 to 2.5 cm, usually unilateral and 19 - 30% multifocal
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Typical areas of invasive lobular carcinoma with cords of single file cells, which merge with small, round to angulated tubules with minute or undetectable lumina
  • Usually accompanied by DCIS, LCIS or both
  • Tumors are usually well differentiated with small, round nuclei and indistinct nucleoli
  • Stroma is densely collagenous with prominent elastosis
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Arrow at tubules

Images hosted on other servers:

Small infiltrative glands

Tubulolobular breast immunophenotype



Mixed tubular and lobular components

Cytology description
  • Single filing of cells and tubular structures
  • Tumor cells have intracytoplasmic vacuoles, low nuclear grade and low mitotic activity
  • Relatively clean background
  • Variable apocrine cells (Acta Cytol 1996;40:465)
Positive stains
Differential diagnosis
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