[Clinical characteristics comparison between triple-negative and non-triple-negative breast cancer]

Hui-ming Zhang, Li-xue Xuan, Ji-dong Gao, Bao-ning Zhang, Ping Zhao
Zhonghua Wai Ke za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Surgery] 2009 April 1, 47 (7): 506-10

OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical characteristics of triple-negative (TN) breast cancer and non-triple-negative (NTN) breast cancer, enrich the information of TN patients, and provide evidences for individualized combined treatment.

METHODS: The data of 408 cases received operation in the year of 2002 was enrolled in this study. TN patients were confirmed according to the immunohistochemical (IHC) test of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER-2/neu. The clinical characteristics, recurrence, metastasis and survival were compared between the two groups.

RESULTS: Seventy-seven patients (18.9%) were confirmed TN cases. The median follow-up was 64 months (range, 3-79 months). Of all the cases, 58 occurred local recurrence or metastasis and 51 died, it was 19 and 12 in TN group. Compared with the NTN group, the TN patient tended to be younger and the tumor mass larger (P=0.015 and 0.011). However, axillary lymph nodes metastasis occurred more often in NTN patients than in TN patients (P=0.001). The rate of local recurrence and metastasis in TN group was significantly higher than in NTN group (P=0.005 and 0.025), and TN cases were more likely to develop lung metastasis than NTN patients (P<0.01). The 3-year and 5-year overall survival rate in TN group were significantly lower than in NTN group (86.4% vs. 93.4%, P=0.0205; 77.7% vs. 87.9%, P=0.0215). The 3-year and 5-year disease-free survival rate in TN group were also significantly lower than in NTN group (78.4% vs. 92.4%, P=0.0038; 72.8% vs. 85.8%, P=0.0041). Tumor size, lymph node status and triple-negative were the most important factors influencing the prognosis on multivariate Cox regression analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: TN breast cancer haa some specific clinical characteristics. The prognosis of TN patients is worse than that of NTN patients. Further study is needed to find individualized treatment for TN breast cancer patients.

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