Revisiting the Inscrutable Granular Cell Tumors in the Breast and Beyond: An Institutional Experience The inscrutable granular cell tumor

Nayanatara Swamy (1), Patrick Jennings (2), Rachel Taylor (3), Scott B Harter (4), Asangi R Kumarapeli (5), Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith (6)
(1) University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas, USA, United States,
(2) University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas, USA, United States,
(3) University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas, USA, United States,
(4) University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas, USA, United States,
(5) Department of Pathology, Summa Health, USA, United States,
(6) University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas, USA, United States


Background: Granular cell tumors (GrCTs) are rare neoplasms derived from Schwann cells and can affect any part of the body. They are histologically categorized into benign (most common), atypical, or malignant (<2%) subtypes.
Methods: A retrospective review of pathology-proven GrCTs at a tertiary hospital was done from 4/1/2014 to 3/31/2021. The patient age, gender, location of the tumor, and imaging findings were reviewed.
Results: A total of 18 patients with GrCTs were found over a period of 7 years. The sites of involvement ranged from the tongue to the heel. The most common site of occurrence was the esophagus. There were 2 cases of recurrences and 2 cases of multicentric GrCTs. In our study, we did not have atypical or malignant GrCTs.
Conclusion: Granular cell tumors are uncommon and primarily published as case reports and case series. Our seven-year review provides a comprehensive synopsis of this tumor in the breast and rest of the body. Their clinical and imaging features are non-characteristic, but histopathologic features with immunohistochemistry are diagnostic. Complete surgical excision with negative margins is the accepted standard of care. A global overview of this tumor will allow physicians to provide their patients with a better understanding of their diagnosis and prognosis.

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Nayanatara Swamy (Primary Contact)
Patrick Jennings
Rachel Taylor
Scott B Harter
Asangi R Kumarapeli
Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith
Swamy N, Jennings P, Taylor R, Harter SB, Kumarapeli AR, Bryant-Smith G. Revisiting the Inscrutable Granular Cell Tumors in the Breast and Beyond: An Institutional Experience: The inscrutable granular cell tumor. Arch Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2022 Mar. 4 [cited 2024 Apr. 23];9(2):204-12. Available from:

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