, Volume 111, Issue 2, pp 389-390

Invasiveness gene signature predicts a favorable outcome also in estrogen receptor-positive primary breast cancers treated with adjuvant tamoxifen

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To the Editor

Invasiveness gene signature (IGS), derived from the comparison between CD44 + CD24−/low tumorigenic breast cancer cells and normal breast epithelium, has been recently reported to be associated with metastasis-free survival irrespective of treatment and in patients receiving only local-regional treatment [1]. It appears to be overexpressed in basal-cell breast cancer [2], likely estrogen receptor-negative (ER−), although its prognostic role is mainly evident within ER+ cancers. Since no information was provided about its prognostic role within an antiestrogen treatment setting, we challenged IGS in postmenopausal patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen for an ER+ axillary lymph node-positive breast cancer. Among the 113 patients included in the study, 45 developed a distant metastasis during adjuvant therapy, whereas 68 were disease free after a median time of 94 months (range, 70–124). We profiled these tumors with cDNA microarrays, which included 76 of the 186 genes def