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Zhonghua Bing Li Xue Za Zhi. 2011 Jul;40(7):465-70.

[Comparison of histopathologic changes and expression of biomarkers in breast carcinoma before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute (Hospital), Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100021, China.



To investigate the relationship between the pathologic responses and histologic type, grade, the expression of ER, PR and HER2 and their changes in breast carcinoma before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC).


Two-hundred and nine cases of breast cancer with NAC were analyzed and clinical, pathologic data were evaluated based on the Miller and Payne ( MP) grading system. The expression of ER, PR and HER2 in the cancers before and after NAC were detected by immunohistochemistry (MaxVision method). SPSS 15.0 software was used to conduct statistical analysis.


(1) Pathologic responses to the NAC were graded as MP1 (14 cases), MP2 (35 cases), MP3 (106 cases), MP4 (36 cases) and MP5 (18 cases); (2) The expression of ER in core needle biopsy had related negatively to the pathologic response (chi2 = 33.083, P = 0.001). However, the histologic type, grade, ER and PR status, and HER2 expression in surgically-removed specimens had not related to the pathologic response (P>0.05); (3) After NAC, the pathologic type and grade changed in 6. 8% (9/132) and 34.9% (30/86) of the cases, and the rates of changes in the expression of ER, PR and HER2 were 42.4% (75/177), 55.4% (98/177) and 26.6% (46/173) , respectively. Only the expression of HER2 had significant difference between before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (P = 0.049). The changes in other data had no relationship with the pathologic response (P>0.05).


Analysis of core needle biopsy can provide important information to predict the pathologic responses to the NAC. The pathologic appearance, grade, ER, PR and HER2 in breast carcinoma may change after NAC. It is necessary to examine the histologic type, grade and the expression of ER, PR and HER2 after NAC once more.

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