Is preoperative core biopsy accurate in determining the hormone receptor status in women with invasive breast cancer?

Int Semin Surg Oncol. 2005 Aug 22;2:15. doi: 10.1186/1477-7800-2-15.


Background: The objective of this study was to determine the concordance rate between core needle biopsy (CNB) and surgical excision of invasive breast cancer regarding the oestrogen receptor (ER) and Progesterone receptor (PgR) status as determined by Immunohistochemistry (IHC).

Methods: Hormone receptor status was established using IHC (using quickscore system 0-8) on preoperative CNB and subsequent surgical excision in 93 patients with invasive breast cancer. Results were compared taking into account tumour's size, grade, and patient's age.

Results: The ER concordance rate between CNB and surgical excisions was 95%. The PgR concordance rate was 89%. This shows that CNB has a sensitivity of 97% for ER and 95% for PgR. There is a positive correlation of ER and PgR between CNB and surgical excision (p < 0.000001). There was no significant difference in the number of core biopsies between concordant and discordant cases.

Conclusion: Preoperative core biopsy is highly sensitive for the IHC detection of ER and PgR in invasive breast cancer. The concordance rate is higher for ER than PgR, which could be due to the fact that ER is more homogeneously distributed.