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BMC Cancer. 2010 Jun 28;10:336. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-336.

An 8-gene qRT-PCR-based gene expression score that has prognostic value in early breast cancer.

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Unidad de Investigación, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria IdIPAZ, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Paseo de la Castellana 261, Madrid 28046, Spain.



Gene expression profiling may improve prognostic accuracy in patients with early breast cancer. Our objective was to demonstrate that it is possible to develop a simple molecular signature to predict distant relapse.


We included 153 patients with stage I-II hormonal receptor-positive breast cancer. RNA was isolated from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples and qRT-PCR amplification of 83 genes was performed with gene expression assays. The genes we analyzed were those included in the 70-Gene Signature, the Recurrence Score and the Two-Gene Index. The association among gene expression, clinical variables and distant metastasis-free survival was analyzed using Cox regression models.


An 8-gene prognostic score was defined. Distant metastasis-free survival at 5 years was 97% for patients defined as low-risk by the prognostic score versus 60% for patients defined as high-risk. The 8-gene score remained a significant factor in multivariate analysis and its performance was similar to that of two validated gene profiles: the 70-Gene Signature and the Recurrence Score. The validity of the signature was verified in independent cohorts obtained from the GEO database.


This study identifies a simple gene expression score that complements histopathological prognostic factors in breast cancer, and can be determined in paraffin-embedded samples.

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