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Hormone Receptors Linked to Breast Cancer Recurrence

They're also linked to risk of distant metastases after breast-conserving therapy

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of local recurrence and distant metastases is associated with hormone receptor status in women who underwent breast-conserving therapy for breast cancer, according to a study published online April 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Paul L. Nguyen, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues examined whether breast cancer subtype (based on hormone receptor status) was associated with outcome in 793 women who received breast-conserving therapy (lumpectomy and radiation). Of these, 90 percent also received adjuvant systemic therapy but not trastuzumab.

After a median follow-up of 70 months, the researchers found that the overall five-year incidence of local recurrence was 1.8 percent but varied from 0.8 percent to 8.4 percent based on positivity for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2). Compared with tumors that were positive for ER or PR and negative for HER-2 (which had the lowest recurrence), tumors that were positive for only HER-2 or negative for all three receptors had the highest risk of local recurrence (adjusted hazard ratios 9.2 and 7.1, respectively). Tumors that were ER- or PR-positive and HER-2-positive as well as tumors that were negative for all three receptors had the highest risk of distant metastases (adjusted hazard ratios 2.9 and 2.3, respectively).

"Overall, the 5-year local recurrence rate after BCT (breast -conserving therapy) was low, but varied by subtype as approximated using ER, PR, and HER-2 status," Nguyen and colleagues conclude.

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