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Ann Oncol. 2008 Sep;19(9):1561-5. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdn283. Epub 2008 Jun 5.

Clinical outcomes after a diagnosis of brain metastases in patients with estrogen- and/or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive versus triple-negative breast cancer.

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  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.



Women with triple-negative (TN) breast cancer are at increased risk of distant metastases and have reduced survival versus other breast cancer patients. Relative survival of women with TN breast cancer who develop brain metastases is unknown.


Patients with breast cancer who developed brain metastases at our institution from 1993 to 2006 were reviewed. Four survival time intervals were compared in patients with TN disease and those with non-TN disease: initial diagnosis to distant metastases, distant metastases to brain metastases, brain metastases to death, and overall diagnosis to death.


One hundred and eighteen patients were identified. Fifty-one (50%) of 103 were estrogen receptor positive, 26 (39%) of 67 were human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive, and 20 (22%) of 91 were TN. Survival times were shorter for TN patients, with overall survival of 26 months in TN patients versus 49 months for non-TN patients. In TN patients, time to development of distant metastases, brain metastases, and death after brain metastases was shorter than in non-TN patients.


Patients with TN disease were more likely to develop distant metastases earlier than non-TN patients, developed brain metastases sooner, and had shorter overall survival.

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