Impact of low estrogen/progesterone receptor expression on survival outcomes in breast cancers previously classified as triple negative breast cancers

Kanwal P.S. Raghav, Leonel F. Hernandez-Aya, Xiudong Lei, Marianan Chavez-Macgregor, Funda Meric-Bernstam, Thomas A. Buchholz, Aysegul Sahin, Kim Anh Do, Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo

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29 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the impact of low estrogen/progesterone receptor (ER/PR) expression and effect of endocrine therapy on survival outcomes in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumors with ER/PR <10%, previously labeled as triple negative. METHODS: In a retrospective review, 1257 patients were categorized according their ER/PR percentages into 3 groups, ER/PR <1% (group A), ER/PR 1% to 5% (group B), and ER/PR 6% to 10% (group C). Kaplan-Meier product limit method was used to estimate survival outcomes. Cox proportional hazards models was used to adjust for patient and tumor characteristics. RESULTS Groups A, B, and C had 897 (71.4%), 241 (19.2%), and 119 (9.4%) patients, respectively. After a median follow-up of 40 months there was no significant difference in 3-year recurrence-free survival (RFS): 64%, 67%, and 77% (P =.34) or overall survival (OS): 79%, 81%, and 88% (P =.33) for groups A, B, and C, respectively. ER/PR expression was not an independent predictor for RFS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86-1.39; P =.46 for group B, and HR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.66-1.38; P =.81 for group C, compared with group A), or OS (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.84-1.46; P =.46 for group B, and HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.63-1.42; P =.78 for group C, compared with group A). Endocrine therapy had no impact on survival outcomes (RFS: P =.10; OS: P =.45) among groups. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort, a low ER/PR level (1%-5%) does not appear to have any significant impact on survival outcomes. There was a tendency for survival advantages in the ER/PR 6% to 10% is seen. Benefit of endocrine therapy in these patients is unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1498-1506
Number of pages9
JournalCancer
Volume118
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • estrogen receptor
  • immunohistochemistry
  • progesterone receptor
  • prognosis

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    Raghav, K. P. S., Hernandez-Aya, L. F., Lei, X., Chavez-Macgregor, M., Meric-Bernstam, F., Buchholz, T. A., Sahin, A., Do, K. A., Hortobagyi, G. N., & Gonzalez-Angulo, A. M. (2012). Impact of low estrogen/progesterone receptor expression on survival outcomes in breast cancers previously classified as triple negative breast cancers. Cancer, 118(6), 1498-1506. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.26431