A clinical validation study of MammaPrint in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer from the Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group 8 (ABCSG-8) biomarker cohort

ESMO Open. 2021 Feb;6(1):100006. doi: 10.1016/j.esmoop.2020.100006. Epub 2020 Dec 31.


Background: MammaPrint is a prognostic assay based on gene expression in tumors from patients with early breast cancer. MammaPrint has been extensively validated and Food and Drug Administration cleared in fresh and formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue. We aimed to assess its prognostic performance in the biomarker cohort of the Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group 8 (ABCSG-8) patient population, and to obtain a higher level of evidence with regard to its clinical validity after RNA extraction from FFPE biobank tissue.

Patients and methods: A prespecified retrospective analysis to test the prognostic performance of the MammaPrint test to predict distant recurrence-free survival at 5 and 10 years as primary end point was carried out. MammaPrint risk, clinicopathological factors (after central pathological review), and clinical risk (using a modified version of Adjuvant! Online) were evaluated by Cox regression analyses.

Results: From 1347 available samples, 607 (45%) failed quality control after RNA extraction. In total, 658 (49%) patients were included in survival analyses: MammaPrint low risk versus high risk is a significant prognostic factor for distant recurrence-free survival at 5 years (94.0% versus 91.6%) with a significant risk reduction of 6.5% at 10 years (log-rank P value = 0.017, low risk 91.3% versus high risk 84.8%). The multivariable models suggest that hazard ratio (HR) is primarily driven by tumor stage (5-year HR 3.89; confidence interval 1.97-7.71) and nodal status (5-year HR 1.73; confidence interval 0.91-3.21). After adjustment for clinical risk groups, MammaPrint HRs remain stable with values just below 2.0 after the first 3 years.

Conclusions: The MammaPrint test showed significant prognostic performance at 5 and 10 years of follow-up. In the particular cohort of ABCSG-8, the statistical independence from clinically assessed covariates remains unclear, and no conclusions concerning the clinical validity of the test can be drawn.

Keywords: ABCSG-8; ER-positive/HER2-negative; MammaPrint; clinical validation; early breast cancer; prognostic biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Biomarkers
  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Female
  • Hormones
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States


  • Biomarkers
  • Hormones