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Am J Clin Pathol. 2011 Feb;135(2):230-7. doi: 10.1309/AJCP9DV3EVZUATFV.

Hormone receptor status rather than HER2 status is significantly associated with increased Ki-67 and p53 expression in triple-negative breast carcinomas, and high expression of Ki-67 but not p53 is significantly associated with axillary nodal metastasis in triple-negative and high-grade non-triple-negative breast carcinomas.

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  • 1Dept of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, 75390-9073, USA.


Triple-negative (TN) breast carcinoma is associated with a higher recurrence rate and shorter survival and lacks the benefit of specific therapy. TN tumors usually express high levels of Ki-67 and p53 that are considered prognostic markers for breast cancer. We compared Ki-67 and p53 expression between TN and high-grade non-TN invasive carcinomas in a total of 214 cases and investigated an association between their expression and axillary nodal metastasis in these tumors. Our findings demonstrate that TN tumors are associated with significantly higher expression of Ki-67 and p53 compared with non-TN tumors, which may contribute to the poorer prognosis in TN tumors. Hormone receptor negativity rather than HER2 negativity is associated with the significantly increased Ki-67 and p53 expression in TN tumors. Furthermore, a high expression level of Ki-67 but not p53 is more likely to be associated with axillary nodal metastasis in these cases.

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