Outcomes of Triple-Negative Breast Cancers (TNBC) Compared with Non-TNBC: Does the Survival Vary for All Stages?
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with aggressive tumor behavior and worse outcomes. In a study at a tertiary care breast unit in a developing country, clinico-pathological attributes and outcomes of patients with TNBC were compared with (c.w.) ER, PR, and/or HER2 expressing tumors (non-TNBC).
Patients and methods
Medical records of 1213 consecutive breast cancer patients managed during 2004–2010 were reviewed. An evaluable cohort of 705 patients with complete treatment and follow-up (median 36 months) information was thus identified. Patients were categorized per ER, PR & HER2 status into TNBC, and ER/PR+ and/or HER2+ groups. Clinico-pathological parameters, response to NACT, and OS & DFS were compared between TNBC and non-TNBC groups.
TNBC patients (n = 249) comprised 35.3 % of the study cohort (n = 705), and were significantly younger than non-TNBC patients (mean age 49.1 ± 11.2y c.w. 51.8 ± 11.3, p = 0.02). The TNM stage at presentation was similar in the two groups (Stage I and II—37 % c.w. 44.3 %, Stage III—47.5 % c.w. 39.5 %, Stage IV—15.5 % c.w. 16.2 % in TNBC c.w. Non-TNBC; p = 0.09). Tumor size (5.7 ± 2.9 cm TNBC c.w. 5.4 ± 2.8 cm non-TNBC, p = 0.22) was similar but lymph nodal (cN) metastases were more frequent in TNBC (77.3 % c.w. 69.8 %; p = 0.03). TNBC had higher histologic grade (97.1 % gr II/III in TNBC c.w. 91.2 % non-TNBC, p = 0.01) and higher incidence of LVI (20.4 % in TNBC c.w. 13.5 %, p = 0.03). Patient groups received similar multi-disciplinary surgical, radiation, and systemic treatment. Comparable proportion of patients in 2 groups were treated with NACT (42 % c.w. 38 %), which resulted in pathological complete response (pCR) in 27.5 % TNBC patients c.w. 17.1 % non-TNBC patients (p = 0.04). Both OS (81.8 ± 4.52 c.w. 97.90 ± 3.87 months, p < 0.001) and DFS (89.2 ± 5.1 c.w. 113.8 ± 4.3 months, p < 0.001) were shorter in TNBC than non-TNBC group. On stage-wise comparison, OS differed significantly only in stage III (47.4 ± 5.3 months in TNBC c.w. 74.5 ± 4.4 in non-TNBC; p < 0.001). Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed tumor stage and IHC subtyping into TNBC c.w. non-TNBC as most important factors predictive of survival.
TNBC occurred at younger age and exhibited aggressive pathology as compared to non-TNBC patients. Although patients with TNBC exhibited better chemo-sensitivity, they had worse DFS and OS compared to the non-TNBC patients. The survival of Stage III TNBC patients was significantly worse compared to non-TNBC group; while in stages I, II, and IV, survival were not significantly different.
KeywordsBreast Cancer Overall Survival Breast Cancer Patient Infiltrate Ductal Carcinoma TNBC Patient
The authors are grateful to faculty and resident doctors of the Departments of Endocrine and Breast surgery; Radiation oncology; and Pathology at SGPGIMS Lucknow for their help with data retrieval and analysis, and with review of clinical and pathology data and material.
- 1.Hammond ME, Hayes DF, Dowsett M et al (2010) American Society of Clinical Oncology/College Of American Pathologists guideline recommendations for immunohistochemical testing of estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer. J Clin Oncol 28(16):2784–2795CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 10.Ram Prabu MP, Raina V, Shukla NK et al (2011) A study of triple-negative breast cancer at a cancer institute in India. J Clin Oncol 29:(suppl; abstr e11548)Google Scholar
- 16.Bauer KR, Brown M, Cress RD et al (2007) Descriptive analysis of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative, progesterone receptor (PR)-negative, and HER2-negative invasive breast cancer, the so-called triple-negative phenotype: a population-based study from the California cancer Registry. Cancer 109(9):1721–1728CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar