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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Aug 2;92(15):1217-27.

Short-term breast cancer prediction by random periareolar fine-needle aspiration cytology and the Gail risk model.

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Division of Clinical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66160-7820, USA.



: Biomarkers are needed to refine short-term breast cancer risk estimates from epidemiologic models and to measure response to prevention interventions. The purpose of our study was to determine whether the cytologic appearance of epithelial cells obtained from breast random periareolar fine-needle aspirates or molecular marker expression in these cells was associated with later breast cancer development.


: Four hundred eighty women who were eligible on the basis of a family history of breast cancer, prior precancerous biopsy, and/or prior invasive cancer were enrolled in a single-institution, prospective trial. Their risk of breast cancer according to the Gail model was calculated, and random periareolar fine-needle aspiration was performed at study entry. Cells were characterized morphologically and analyzed for DNA aneuploidy by image analysis and for the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor, estrogen receptor, p53 protein, and HER2/NEU protein by immunocytochemistry. All statistical tests are two-sided.


: At a median follow-up time of 45 months after initial aspiration, 20 women have developed breast cancer (invasive disease in 13 and ductal carcinoma in situ in seven). With the use of multiple logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards analysis, subsequent cancer was predicted by evidence of hyperplasia with atypia in the initial fine-needle aspirate and a 10-year Gail projected probability of developing breast cancer. Although expression of epidermal growth factor receptor, estrogen receptor, p53, and HER2/NEU was statistically significantly associated with hyperplasia with atypia, it did not predict the development of breast cancer in multivariable analysis.


: Cytomorphology from breast random periareolar fine-needle aspirates can be used with the Gail risk model to identify a cohort of women at very high short-term risk for developing breast cancer. We recommend that cytomorphology be studied for use as a potential surrogate end point in prevention trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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