JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

p53 protein accumulation and response to adjuvant chemotherapy in premenopausal women with node-negative early breast cancer

P C Clahsen, C J van de Velde, C Duval, C Pallud, A M Mandard, A Delobelle-Deroide, L van den Broek, T M Sahmoud, M J van de Vijver
Journal of Clinical Oncology 1998, 16 (2): 470-9
9469330

PURPOSE: Thirty percent of women with node-negative breast cancer will have a recurrence within 10 years after diagnosis. Molecular markers may identify those patients and predict whether they benefit from adjuvant therapy. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) conducted a randomized trial (EORTC 10854) to compare perioperative treatment with one course of fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FAC) versus no further therapy. We studied tumors from premenopausal patients with node-negative breast cancer randomized in this trial to determine whether p53 accumulation, c-erbB-2 expression, percentage of Ki-67-positive cells, estrogen receptor (ER-immunoassay [IA]), progesterone receptor (PR-IA), and angiogenesis could be used as prognostic factors and predictors of responsiveness to adjuvant chemotherapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Paraffin-embedded tumor specimens from 441 premenopausal women with node-negative breast cancer were collected from the larger EORTC trial. Paraffin sections from the tumors were analyzed for immunohistochemical expression of p53, c-erbB-2, Ki-67, ER, PR, and angiogenesis.

RESULTS: Patients with p53-negative tumors showed a significant benefit from perioperative chemotherapy (P < .01), whereas patients who had p53-positive tumors did not (P = .80). At a median follow-up time of 49 months, univariate analyses for disease-free survival (DFS) failed to show prognostic value for p53, c-erbB-2 and angiogenesis. Both univariate and multivariate results showed Ki-67 positivity, ER-IA negativity, and a younger age to be associated with a worse prognosis.

CONCLUSION: p53 accumulation was associated with a poor response to one perioperative course of FAC chemotherapy. Ki-67, ER-IA, and age are important prognostic factors in premenopausal women with node-negative breast cancer.

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