Difference between Luminal A and Luminal B Subtypes According to Ki-67, Tumor Size, and Progesterone Receptor Negativity Providing Prognostic Information

Clin Med Insights Oncol. 2014 Sep 11;8:107-11. doi: 10.4137/CMO.S18006. eCollection 2014.


Background: The St. Gallen International Expert Consensus of 2011 proposes a new classification system for breast cancer based on its division into five subgroups. The criteria to identify these subtypes were recently refined at the 2013 Conference. In this respect, the authors of this paper have conducted a retrospective analysis of breast cancer subtypes, related to Ki-67 and involvement of the axillary lymph nodes (ALNs). The analysis was performed only in the cases of invasive breast cancer in the pT2 stages. The research and results of the paper have shown that investigating the value of these parameters could be of great benefit in future treatment strategies of invasive breast cancer.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of breast cancer subtypes, tumor nodal metastatic staging, and histopathological grading of 108 cases has been performed according to the methods recommended and provided by the St. Gallen International Expert Consensus Report, 2011. The estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), and Ki-67 of 108 tumor samples were all investigated by immunohistochemistry according to the methods used to classify breast cancer subtypes as proposed in the St. Gallen Consensus Report, 2011. Invasive breast cancers (n = 108) were immunohistochemically classified as follows: 28 (25.92%) as Luminal A, 51 (47.22%) as Luminal B (HER2 negative), 21 (19.44%) as Luminal B-like (HER2 negative), 2 (1.85%) as HER2 positive, and 6 (5.55%) as being a triple-negative subtype.

Results: The conclusion was made that when Ki-67 was found to be higher, patients also showed a higher involvement in their ALNs. The chi-square test shows the difference to be significant (chi-square = 4.757; P = 0.029). Luminal B subtypes had the highest percentage (54.9%) of involvement of lymph nodes when compared to the other four subtypes. The Luminal B subtype had a higher percentage (51.4%) of involvement of lymph nodes than did Luminal A (10.7%). The chi-square test also shows the difference to be significant (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: A combination of the Ki-67 index, HER negative tumors, PR negativity, and a low value that can be used to segregate ER positive pT2 tumors into prognostically significantly different clinical outcomes may be utilized clinically to guide patient management in accordance with these tumor characteristics.

Keywords: Ki-67; Luminal A; Luminal B; breast cancer; positive lymph node status; prognostic information.