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Cancer Res. 1992 Apr 15;52(8):2344-5.

Differences in breast cancer risk factors to neu (c-erbB-2) protein overexpression of the breast tumor.

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Department of Epidemiology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan, Amsterdam.


To investigate whether overexpression of the neu protein in breast tumors differentiates risk factor patterns for breast cancer, neu protein overexpression was determined in 296 breast carcinomas of patients participating in an ongoing population-based case-control study. Risk factor information on these patients and 737 controls was obtained during home interviews. Most breast cancer risk factors showed similar associations with neu-positive and neu-negative tumors, but remarkable differences were found for breast-feeding and age at first full-term pregnancy. In contrast to the slightly protective effect of breast-feeding in the neu-negative group, the risk of neu-positive breast cancer was 4.2-fold increased in women who ever breast-fed. Increasing age at first full-term pregnancy was positively associated with both neu-positive and neu-negative breast cancer, but the association was about 2 times stronger for neu-positive tumors. We conclude that neu oncogene overexpression of the breast tumor seems to be associated with a distinct risk factor pattern.

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