Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Nov 1;16(21):5222-32. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-1282. Epub 2010 Sep 13.

A comparison of PAM50 intrinsic subtyping with immunohistochemistry and clinical prognostic factors in tamoxifen-treated estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

Author information

Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



To compare clinical, immunohistochemical (IHC), and gene expression models of prognosis applicable to formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks in a large series of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers from patients uniformly treated with adjuvant tamoxifen.


Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) assays for 50 genes identifying intrinsic breast cancer subtypes were completed on 786 specimens linked to clinical (median follow-up, 11.7 years) and IHC [ER, progesterone receptor (PR), HER2, and Ki67] data. Performance of predefined intrinsic subtype and risk-of-relapse scores was assessed using multivariable Cox models and Kaplan-Meier analysis. Harrell's C-index was used to compare fixed models trained in independent data sets, including proliferation signatures.


Despite clinical ER positivity, 10% of cases were assigned to nonluminal subtypes. qRT-PCR signatures for proliferation genes gave more prognostic information than clinical assays for hormone receptors or Ki67. In Cox models incorporating standard prognostic variables, hazard ratios for breast cancer disease-specific survival over the first 5 years of follow-up, relative to the most common luminal A subtype, are 1.99 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09-3.64] for luminal B, 3.65 (95% CI, 1.64-8.16) for HER2-enriched subtype, and 17.71 (95% CI, 1.71-183.33) for the basal-like subtype. For node-negative disease, PAM50 qRT-PCR-based risk assignment weighted for tumor size and proliferation identifies a group with >95% 10-year survival without chemotherapy. In node-positive disease, PAM50-based prognostic models were also superior.


The PAM50 gene expression test for intrinsic biological subtype can be applied to large series of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded breast cancers, and gives more prognostic information than clinical factors and IHC using standard cut points.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center