, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 619-627
Date: 14 Aug 2012

Ki67 expression in the primary tumor predicts for clinical benefit and time to progression on first-line endocrine therapy in estrogen receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer

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Abstract

We examined whether baseline Ki67 expression in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) primary breast cancer correlates with clinical benefit and time to progression on first-line endocrine therapy and survival in metastatic disease. Ki67 values and outcome information were retrieved from a prospectively maintained clinical database and validated against the medical records; 241 patients with metastatic breast cancer were included—who had ER+ primary cancer with known Ki67 expression level—and received first-line endocrine therapy for metastatic disease. Patients were assigned to low (<10 %), intermediate (10–25 %), or high (>25 %) Ki67 expression groups. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were plotted and multivariate analysis was performed to assess association between clinical and immunohistochemical variables and outcome. The clinical benefit rates were 81, 65, and 55 % in the low (n = 32), intermediate (n = 103), and high (n = 106) Ki67 expression groups (P = 0.001). The median times to progression on first-line endocrine therapy were 20.3 (95 % CI, 17.5–38.5), 10.8 (95 % CI, 8.9–18.8), and 8 (95 % CI, 6.1–11.1) months, respectively (P = 0.0002). The median survival times after diagnosis of metastatic disease were also longer for the low/intermediate compared to the high Ki67 group, 52 versus 30 months (P < 0.0001). In multivariate analysis, high Ki67 expression in the primary tumor remained an independent adverse prognostic factor in metastatic disease (P = 0.001). Low Ki67 expression in the primary tumor is associated with higher clinical benefit and longer time to progression on first-line endocrine therapy and longer survival after metastatic recurrence.