Treatment outcome in patients with triple negative early stage breast cancers compared with other molecular subtypes

Radiat Oncol J. 2012 Sep;30(3):124-31. doi: 10.3857/roj.2012.30.3.124. Epub 2012 Sep 30.


Purpose: To determine whether triple negative (TN) early stage breast cancers have poorer survival rates compared with other molecular types.

Materials and methods: Between August 2000 and July 2006, patients diagnosed with stage I, II early stage breast cancers, in whom all three markers (estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor [HER]-2) were available and treated with modified radical mastectomy or breast conserving surgery followed by radiotherapy, were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Of 446 patients, 94 (21.1%) were classified as TN, 57 (12.8%) as HER-2 type, and 295 (66.1%) as luminal. TN was more frequently associated with young patients younger than 35 years old (p = 0.002), higher histologic grade (p < 0.0001), and nuclear (p < 0.0001). The median follow-up period was 78 months (range, 4 to 130 months). There were 9 local relapses (2.0%), 15 nodal (3.4%), 40 distant metastases (9.0%), and 33 deaths (7.4%) for all patients. The rates of 5-year OS, DFS, LFS, and DMFS for all patients were 95.5%, 89.9%, 95.4%, and 91.7%, respectively. There were no significant differences in OS, DFS, LFS, and DMFS between triple negative and other subtypes (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: We found that patients with TN early stage breast cancers had no difference in survival rates compared with other molecular subtypes. Prospective study in homogeneous treatment group will need for a prognosis of TN early stage breast cancer.

Keywords: Disease-free survival; Distant metastasis-free survival; Early stage; Locoregional relapse-free survival; Overall survival; Triple negative breast cancer.