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Cancer Res. 1983 Jun;43(6):2985-90.

Progesterone and estrogen receptors as prognostic variables in breast cancer.


Estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) levels have been measured in 374 tumors from patients with primary breast cancer and compared with axillary nodal status and other patient variables to determine their relationship to prognosis. Nodal status reliably predicted disease-free interval and overall survival, and both ER and PR status predicted overall survival both individually and within node-positive and node-negative subgroups. PR but not ER status was also able to predict disease-free survival both overall and in the node-positive subgroup. When the two receptor measurements were used in combination, a group of receptor-negative, (ER- and PR-negative), node-negative patients were identified with a significantly worse survival than that for an ER- and PR-positive group of node-positive patients. It is apparent that receptor status provides useful prognostic information in patients with early breast cancer and that ER and PR assays used in combination identify a subgroup of node-negative patients with poor prognosis who are likely to benefit from adjuvant therapy following mastectomy.

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