Send to

Choose Destination
World J Surg Oncol. 2011 Oct 17;9:131. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-9-131.

Changes in the ER, PgR, HER2, p53 and Ki-67 biological markers between primary and recurrent breast cancer: discordance rates and prognosis.

Author information

Department of Breast & Endocrine Surgery, Kumamoto City Hospital, 1-1-60 Kotoh, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto 862-8505, Japan.



In breast cancer, ER/PgR, HER2, and Ki-67 are important biological markers for predicting prognosis and making effective treatment decisions. In addition, changes in markers due to relapse are also clinically experienced; however, the frequency and clinical significance are still not fully understood. Thus, changes in markers and their correlations with prognosis were investigated.


Out of the patients with relapse from 1997 to March 2011, there were 97 consecutive patients from whom the lesion was resected and evaluated by immunostaining. The biopsy sites were chest wall, lymph node, ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence, lungs, bones, ovaries and brain. The markers sought were ER, PgR, HER2, p53 and Ki-67.


The hormone receptor positive rate from the primary tumor to recurrence decreased from 63.9% to 57.7% and from 56.7% to 43.3% for ER and PgR, respectively. Changes in the positive/negative evaluation were seen at the rate of 10.3% and 25.8% for ER and PgR, respectively. The Ki-67 index increased significantly from a mean of 29.1% at primary tumor to 36.3% at relapse. When divided into 2 groups (< 50% and ≥50%), changes were seen in 24.7%. On the other hand, the rates of changes in HER2 and p53 positivity were 14.4% and 12.4%. The changes in subtypes were seen in 25%, however, the lowest rate of change was seen in the triple negative cases. Although there was no notable difference in the rate of change between disease-free interval (DFI) and PgR, Ki-67, p53 and HER2, there was a significant difference in the change rates in the ER. A multivariate analysis revealed that the status of distant metastasis and PgR level at relapse, and Ki-67 levels at primary tumor were all significant factors.


Estrogen receptor and PgR decreased while Ki-67 increased due to relapse; however, the rate of change was high for PgR and Ki-67. Change in the subtypes was seen in 25%. In addition, PgR at relapse and Ki-67 at primary tumor were significant factors for post-relapse prognosis while PgR becoming negative was a poor prognostic factor. These findings are important for making effective treatment decisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

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