SABCS: Small, HER2-Positive Tumors Predict Relapse

Women with such tumors should be considered candidates for adjuvant systemic therapy

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients with HER2-positive tumors that are 1 centimeter or less may have a significant relapse risk, according to research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium held Dec. 10 to 14 in San Antonio, Texas.

Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo, M.D., of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues studied 965 women (median age 57) who were diagnosed between 1990 and 2003 with tumors measuring 1 cm or less. Nine percent of the tumors were identified as HER2-positive.

Compared to patients with HER2-negative tumors, the researchers found that those with HER2-positive tumors had significantly increased risks of recurrence and distant recurrence (hazard ratios, 2.68 and 5.3, respectively). Compared to patients with hormone receptor-positive tumors, they also found that those with HER2-positive tumors had even higher risks (HR, 5.09 and 7.81, respectively).

"The current guidelines call for no further therapy if the tumors are less than 5 mm or consider therapy if the tumors are from 6 to 10 mm, but this data challenges that thinking and shows this group of women may benefit from additional therapy," Gonzalez-Angulo said in a statement.

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