A comparison of prognostic tumor markers obtained on image-guided breast biopsies and final surgical specimens

Am J Surg. 2002 Oct;184(4):322-4. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(02)00953-4.


Background: This study was initiated to determine whether tumor markers obtained on image-guided breast biopsy specimens provide accurate prognostic information for women with invasive breast cancer.

Methods: Prognostic tumor markers on preoperative image-guided biopsy and final surgical specimens were compared in 44 patients with invasive breast cancer.

Results: Progesterone receptor (PR) discordance was 18%. In 87% of PR discordant cases, the image-guided biopsy was positive and the final specimen was negative (P = 0.03). Tumor grade was discordant in 36% of patients Discordance for estrogen receptor (ER) = 2%; MIB-1 = 18%; Her2/neu = 9%; EGFR = 10%; p53 = 9%; and bcl-2 = 0%. The discordance for these markers was random and did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: Image-guided core needle biopsies provide reliable information for the majority of prognostic tumor makers. A positive progesterone receptor is significantly more likely to be determined by core biopsy rather than the final surgical specimen. Tumor grade should be based upon the final surgical specimen whenever possible.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Progesterone