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Email acimino1@jhmi.edu
Phone (410) 614-6753

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Breast Cancer and Breast Pathology

Ashley M. Cimino-Mathews, M.D.

Primary Appointment in Pathology; Secondary Appointment in Oncology

My primary research aim is to characterize the pathogenesis of breast cancer metastasis by studying the changes seen between a patient’s primary and matched metastatic breast carcinoma. Metastatic breast carcinoma carries a poor prognosis, and a better understanding of the molecular steps underlying the progression of metastases will allow for more specialized, targeted therapy in both the early and late stages of metastasis. To date, we have studied the expression of molecules such as the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), the androgen receptor, Sox10, and GATA3. In addition, we are studying the role of the patient’s own immunologic response in mediating breast cancer development and metastasis. Our goal is to characterize the immune infiltrates in primary and metastatic human breast cancers. My secondary research aim is to study the genetic and phenotypic differences of stromal tumors of the breast. Spindle cell proliferations of the breast encompass a range of benign to malignant neoplasms, including fibromatosis, phyllodes tumors, and sarcomatoid (metaplastic) carcinomas. These lesions have overlapping clinicoradiologic and pathologic features but vastly different implications for prognosis.


Cimino A, Halushka M, Illei P, Wu X, Sukumar S, Argani P. Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is overexpressed in breast cancer metastases. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010;123(3):701-708.

Cimino-Mathews A, Hicks J, Illei PB, Halushka MK, Fetting JH, De Marzo A, Park BH, Argani P. Androgen receptor expression is usually maintained in initial surgically-resected breast cancer metastases, but often lost in terminal metastases found at autopsy. Human Pathology. 2012;43(7):1003-11.

Cimino-Mathews A, Subhawong AP, Elwood H, Nassar Warzecha H, Sharma R, Park BH, Taube JM, Illei PB, Argani PA. Neural crest transcription factor Sox10 is preferentially expressed in triple negative and metaplastic breast carcinomas. Human Pathol. 2013 Jun;44(6):959-65.

Cimino-Mathews A, Ye X, Meeker A, Argani P, Emens LA. Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancers at First Relapse Have Fewer Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes Than Their Matched Primary Breast Tumors: A Pilot Study. Human Pathol. 2013 Oct;44:2055-63.

Poling JS, Tsangaris TN, Argani P, Cimino-Mathews A. Frozen section evaluation of breast carcinoma sentinel lymph nodes: a retrospective review of 1,940 cases. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Nov;148(2):355-61.

Cimino-Mathews A, Sharma R, Illei PB, Vang R, Argani P. A Subset of Malignant Phyllodes Tumors Express p63 and p40: A Diagnostic Pitfall in Breast Core Needle Biopsies. Amer J Surg Pathol. 2014 Dec;38(12):1689-96.


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