Identification of high risk breast-cancer patients by gene expression profiling

Lancet. 2002 Jan 12;359(9301):131-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)07337-3.


We previously used DNA array analyses in the molecular profiling of breast cancers. By cluster analysis of 55 patients, we identified a subpopulation of breast cancers-designated class A-that contained a high number of nodal-positive tumours and that had frequently developed distant metastases at the time of diagnosis. We have now analysed follow-up data from these patients. We found that, despite a median of only 23.5 months of follow-up, 11 of 22 patients in class A progressed to metastatic disease, and three of five patients classified as having a nodal status of N0 in this subpopulation developed distant metastases. Our analysis identifies breast-cancer patients with a high risk of disease recurrence, and could act as a first step towards improved patient-adapted therapy.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Breast Neoplasms / classification
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / standards
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Genetic Testing / standards
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / genetics
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / classification
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor