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Int J Oncol. 1999 Dec;15(6):1137-47.

Prognostic value of estrogen receptor status can be improved by combined evaluation of p53, Bcl2 and PgR expression: an immunohistochemical study on breast carcinoma with long-term follow-up.

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Department of Histopathology, SS. Trinita Hospital, Borgomanero, Italy.


Steroid receptor analysis is the only widely accepted prognostic/predictive marker in breast cancer (BC) treatment. In the present study we evaluated the prognostic role of ER/PgR with p53 and Bcl2, in a series of 277 BC (153 pN1/2, 122 pNO, 2 pNx) with a long-term follow-up (67 months for DFS, 75 months for OS). Our results, besides confirming the usefulness of ER immunohistochemical expression as a prognostic marker, showed that PgR expression alone had a borderline/not significant prognostic value in the whole series (p=0.08 for DFS and p=0.09 for OS), while showed to be prognostic in N+ cases (p=0.02 for DFS and p=0.03 for OS). PgR prognostic value, however, was not independent at the multivariate analysis. By combining ER with PgR, p53 and Bcl2, we showed that ER/p53 and ER/Bcl2 phenotypes had a better discriminant role than ER/PgR phenotype. The ER+/p53+ phenotype was at higher risk of relapse/death as compared with ER+/p53- phenotype. Conversely ER-/p53+ phenotype showed the most unfavourable prognosis. Similar results could be observed concerning ER/Bcl2 phenotypes. Our study showed that the combined evaluation of ER/PgR weakly enhanced the prognostic/predictive power of ER status alone. On the contrary, the combined evaluation of ER/p53 and ER/Bcl2, improved this prognostic/predictive capability and allowed the separation of ER positive and ER negative cases into subgroups with different prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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