Prognostic and predictive indicators in operable breast cancer

Clin Breast Cancer. 2003 Feb;3(6):381-90. doi: 10.3816/CBC.2003.n.002.


Because of its biological heterogeneity and wide spectrum of responsiveness to different treatments, breast cancer is a complex disease of difficult clinical management. Over the past several years, knowledge of the molecular mechanisms regulating normal and aberrant cell growth leading to cancer has been enhanced. These advances have enabled the identification of an increasing number of surrogate biomarkers, which have been correlated with prognosis or used as predictors of response to specific treatments. Axillary nodal status, age, tumor size, pathologic grade, and hormone receptor status are the established prognostic and/or predictive factors for selection of adjuvant treatments. The role of new biomarkers, such as p53, HER2/neu, angiogenesis, and the proliferation index value, is promising; however, the clinical value of their determination must be provided by prospective clinical studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Genes, erbB-1 / genetics*
  • Genes, p53 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen / genetics*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism


  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Receptors, Estrogen