Prognosis of Japanese breast cancer based on hormone receptor and HER2 expression determined by immunohistochemical staining

World J Surg. 2008 Nov;32(11):2477-82. doi: 10.1007/s00268-008-9712-8.


Background: We classified Japanese breast cancer patients based on estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER2 protein expression and compared their prognoses.

Methods: We compared the background and prognostic factors of 600 patients with breast cancer who were assigned to the following groups: luminal A (ER + and/or PR + and HER2-; n = 431; 71.8%), luminal B (ER + and/or PR + and HER2 + ; n = 27; 4.5%), HER2 (ER-, PR-, and HER2 + ; n = 39; 6.5%) and basal-like (BBC; ER-, PR-, and HER2-; n = 103; 17.2%).

Results: Background factors did not significantly differ among the groups. Disease-free survival rates were significantly lower for the luminal B, HER2, and BBC subtypes than for the luminal A subtype. Cancer tended to recur earlier and overall survival was significantly lower for the BBC than for the luminal A and HER2 subtypes. Overall survival rates for the luminal B, HER2, and luminal A subtypes were comparable.

Conclusions: The subtype distribution for Japanese and Caucasian patients was comparable. The prognosis for the BBC subtype was poorest among all subtypes. Breast cancer tended to recur earlier for the luminal B and HER2 subtypes than for the luminal A subtype; however, overall survival did not significantly differ among them.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2