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Pathobiology. 2011;78(3):140-8. doi: 10.1159/000323809. Epub 2011 May 26.

PRO_10--a new tissue-based prognostic multigene marker in patients with early estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

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Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, Switzerland.



Clinicopathological and molecular factors determine the prognosis of breast cancer. PRO_10 is a prognostic score based on quantitative RT-PCR of 10 proliferation-associated genes obtained from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded breast cancer tissues. We revalidated PRO_10 in patients treated in a non-trial setting.


The charts of 315 patients with postmenopausal estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer between 1996 and 2004 were reviewed. Forty-eight cases relapsed within 5 years of diagnosis; they were paired with controls by matching the N and T stage, histological grade, percent ER-positive cells, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, age, adjuvant chemo- and endocrine therapy. The score was tested by conditional logistic regression.


Despite strict matching, PRO_10 remained prognostic for recurrence in the whole group (odds ratio, OR = 4.7, p = 0.005) and in subgroups of grade 2 (OR = 5.5, p = 0.009) and N0 cancers (OR = 15, p = 0.002). Five-year recurrence-free survival was 29% in patients with high and 67% in patients with low scores (p = 0.002). PRO_10 was prognostic for overall survival (5-year overall survival 71 vs. 91%).


PRO_10 is an independent prognostic marker in postmenopausal ER-positive breast cancer. It is based on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue and could be integrated easily into the routine diagnostic workflow.

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