May 27, 2009 09:34AM , edited May 27, 2009 09:39AM by TenderIsOurMight
I'm so sorry your going through this twice. Breast cancer doesn't play fair. I'm happy your plan is being worked out with your input.
As to your path report: Nottingham was the pathologist who came up with the scoring index years ago (there was a colleague too I believe who was involved). It rests on three microscopic findings per field when studying a breast cancer tumor which has been fixed onto a slide. The lower the Nottingham score, the better the finding (prognosis or suggested outcome). This is still done, but increasingly, Oncotype or Mammoprint genetic tumor studies reveal more specific personal tumor information.
Tubule formation: breast cancer cells often form tubules- concentric cells in a ring. A lot of tubules suggests higher cell similarity, organization to the tumor. Some of the cells in the ring have a "snout" like a pig- go figure. Anyway, a low Nottingham score is 1 and suggest much of the cancer has formed tubules. A 2 is medium and three is few.
Nuclear pleomorphism: How many cell nuclei resemble each in an organized manner vs how many are different in their findings from one another. Again, 1 is good and means basically well differentiated nuclei vs 2 which is medium differentiated (I had that) vs 3 which is poorly differentiated- lots of nuclear variation.
Mitotic count: How many cells have been captured in the cell fixing process to reveal gene chromosome bands in mitosis (lining up in replication). This would suggest the number of cells in active division. A count of 1 is low, 2 is medium, and 3 is most in active division.
Angiolymphatic invasion: this is invasion of the cancer by microscopic eye into a blood vessel(s) or lymph channel(s). It does not characterize the lymph node, rather just what is seen in the slice of tumor being viewed. It is felt better not to have this present.
While your Nottingham Index (NI) was on the higher end, newer types of tests done on our breast cancers lend different, perhaps more tumor specific (less subjective) information. Your oncologist will direct their order. Some order ki67 (this is part of OncotypeDX), p53, and cadherin. Increasingly many order the Oncotype Dx or Mammoprint (both genetic analysis). This is all leading to greater specific knowledge, all the way down to one's tumor molecules. In triple negative there has been recent discussion of improved cisplatin response in tumors which are p63 positive (p63 is a sister gene to p53 ((shares function and homology with p53)), I believe. If confirmed, this offers a "better fit" between one's genetic tumor findings and one's chosen chemotherapy.
I hope this helps and I wish you all the best,
Reference example of where molecular biology in breast cancer is heading potentially: