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Anticancer Res. 2012 Aug;32(8):3485-93.

Estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and nuclear size features in female breast cancer in Libya: correlation with clinical features and survival.

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Departments of Pathology, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.



The features of Libyan patients with breast cancer have not been fully investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression patterns of estrogen (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR), as well as nuclear morphometric features, in patients with breast cancer, and to correlate them with clinicopathological features and prognosis.


Data for a total of 62 female Libyan patients with breast cancer, diagnosed between 2000 and 2006, were retrospectively studied. Their clinical and pathological data were collected and analysed. Immunohistochemical evaluation of ER and PR expression was also performed. Further more nuclear morphometry was carried out.


Of the 62 patients, disease in 10 was of the lobular type, 43 had invasive ductal and 9 had other carcinoma types; 47 out of 62 had lymph node involvement. Positive hormonal receptor expression was more common among those with lymph node-negative than lymph node-positive tumours. ER- and PR-positive patients appeared to have a better survival than ER- and PR-negative patients. The most significant difference, with respect to survival, was found between those bearing tumors with completely negative hormonal staining (J score 0) and those with positive staining (J score 1, 2 and 3). Larger nuclear size was associated with lymph node involvement and high-grade tumours (p<0.01 and p<0.0001, respectively), with shorter survival, larger tumour size and higher stage.


The cut-off points for defining the groups with good or worse prognosis might be set, between score 0 and 1 (corresponding to 1% or fewer positive cells). Patients with ER- and PR-positive cancer had better overall survival than patients with hormonal receptor-negative cancer. In our hospital setting, ER and PR expressions and mean nuclear area (MNA) in breast carcinoma may be prognostically useful markers in guiding future treatment in prospective studies.

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