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01.12.2011 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2011 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011

Multifocal invasive ductal breast cancer with osteoclast-like giant cells: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2011
Georg Richter, Christoph Uleer, Thomas Noesselt
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-5-85) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

UC analyzed and interpreted the mammography and ultrasound. TN performed the operation and administered chemotherapy. GR performed the histological examination and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of a multifocal (trifocal) invasive carcinoma of the breast containing osteoclast-like giant cells.

Case presentation

A 64-year-old Caucasian woman presented for routine mammography screening with three radiodense lesions in the lower inner quadrant of the right breast, a primary breast cancer. Microscopic examination showed three foci of invasive ductal carcinoma with multinucleated osteoclast-like giant cells. Osteoclast-like giant cells in breast cancer are a rare phenomenon. They are described in less than two percent of all breast cancers and occur in association with invasive ductal cancer and invasive lobular cancer. In addition, osteoclast-like giant cells have been described in several sarcomas and metaplastic carcinomas of the breast.


To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a multifocal infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the breast containing osteoclast-like giant cells. This could be an indication for a possible early event in carcinogenesis associated with a biological event or secretion that indicates the differentiation and/or migration of stromal cells or macrophages.

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