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P R Health Sci J. 2010 Sep;29(3):265-71.

Clinicopathological factors associated to HER-2 status in a hospital-based sample of breast cancer patients in Puerto Rico.

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Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program, University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Juan.


Breast cancer is the most common female malignancy in Puerto Rico. Cases with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) oncoprotein overamplification are associated with aggressive clinical behavior. Given the limited availability of information for Puerto Rico, we aimed to evaluate the prevalence and clinical correlates of HER-2 gene overexpression among a hospital-based female population of breast cancer cases. We analyzed data from 1,049 female patients with invasive breast cancer (diagnosed 2000-2005) at the I. González Martínez Oncologic Hospital and the Auxilio Mutuo Hospital. HER-2 status and other clinical characteristics were retrieved from the hospitals' cancer registries, from the Puerto Rico Central Cancer Registry, and from a review of medical and pathological records. Prevalence odds ratios were estimated with 95% confidence intervals, using logistic regression models to quantify the association between HER-2 status and different clinicophatological factors. The overall prevalence of positive HER-2 expression was 22.5%. In the multivariate logistic regression model, factors significantly associated with HER-2 positivity included a diagnosis age of < 50 years, having a tumor with negative progesterone receptor (PR) status, and having regional disease (p < 0.05). No significant differences in HER-2 positivity were observed by tumor histology or estrogen receptor (ER) status (p > 0.05). This is the most comprehensive epidemiological study to date on HER-2 status in Puerto Rico. The prevalence and correlates of HER-2 overexpression in this study are comparable to those observed in US populations. Study results will aid in the development of breast cancer control strategies in Puerto Rico.

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