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Cancer. 1992 Jun 15;69(12):2953-60.

C-erbB-2 oncoprotein expression versus internal mammary lymph node metastases as additional prognostic factors in patients with axillary lymph node-positive breast cancer.

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Operation Center, Kanazawa University Hospital, School of Medicine, Japan.


The relationship was assessed between c-erbB-2 oncoprotein expression and other prognostic factors in breast cancer, such as axillary and internal mammary node metastases. The value of these indicators was analyzed in estimating prognosis, especially in patients with axillary node-positive breast cancer. These results showed that c-erbB-2 is significantly related to clinical stage and axillary node metastases. A univariate study revealed that disease-free and overall survival were correlated significantly with clinical stage, tumor size, axillary and internal mammary node metastases, and 21N status. Among the patients with axillary node involvement, however, 21N status did not appear to be a significant additional prognostic factor. Internal mammary node metastases were significant. In a multivariate study, only axillary and internal mammary node metastases were significant prognostic factors for either the entire group of patients or those with positive axillary nodes. Therefore, axillary node dissection and biopsy of the internal mammary nodes may provide important prognostic information for patients with breast cancer.

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