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Eur J Cancer. 2004 Jan;40(2):205-11.

Comparative value of tumour grade, hormonal receptors, Ki-67, HER-2 and topoisomerase II alpha status as predictive markers in breast cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Centre de Lutte Contre le Cancer Paul Strauss, 3 rue de la Porte de l'HĂ´pital, 67065 Strasbourg Cedex, France.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of five different biological factors in breast cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy: (1) tumour grade scored according to the Elston-Ellis classification, (2) hormonal receptor (HR) status; (3) tumour cell proliferation evaluated by Ki-67 staining, (4) HER-2 and topoisomerase II alpha (TopoIIalpha) expression evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC), (5) HER-2 and TopoIIalpha amplification evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). 119 patients with operable breast cancer were treated with six cycles of FEC (100 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) 500 mg/m2, Epirubicin 100 mg/m2, Cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m2). Tumour response was assessed clinically and by computed tomography (CT) scan, then by pathological assessment. The clinical overall response (OR) was 80%, with 19% of complete responders (CR). The radiological OR was 71%, with 16% of CR. A pathological CR was demonstrated in 13% of the patients according to the Sataloff classification. In the multivariate analysis, the absence of HR expression and Ki-67 > or = 20% were predictive for a clinical CR. A high tumour grade was predictive for a pathological CR. Overexpression or amplification of HER2 or Topollcalpha were not predictive of response.

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