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J Cancer Epidemiol. 2014;2014:469251. doi: 10.1155/2014/469251. Epub 2014 May 26.

Breast Cancer Survival Defined by the ER/PR/HER2 Subtypes and a Surrogate Classification according to Tumor Grade and Immunohistochemical Biomarkers.

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Sutter Institute for Medical Research, 2801 Capitol Avenue, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA.

Abstract

Introduction. ER, PR, and HER2 are routinely available in breast cancer specimens. The purpose of this study is to contrast breast cancer-specific survival for the eight ER/PR/HER2 subtypes with survival of an immunohistochemical surrogate for the molecular subtype based on the ER/PR/HER2 subtypes and tumor grade. Methods. We identified 123,780 cases of stages 1-3 primary female invasive breast cancer from California Cancer Registry. The surrogate classification was derived using ER/PR/HER2 and tumor grade. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to assess differences in survival and risk of mortality for the ER/PR/HER2 subtypes and surrogate classification within each stage. Results. The luminal B/HER2- surrogate classification had a higher risk of mortality than the luminal B/HER2+ for all stages of disease. There was no difference in risk of mortality between the ER+/PR+/HER2- and ER+/PR+/HER2+ in stage 3. With one exception in stage 3, the ER-negative subtypes all had an increased risk of mortality when compared with the ER-positive subtypes. Conclusions. Assessment of survival using ER/PR/HER2 illustrates the heterogeneity of HER2+ subtypes. The surrogate classification provides clear separation in survival and adjusted mortality but underestimates the wide variability within the subtypes that make up the classification.

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