Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 1553–1564 | Cite as

Prediction of outcome of patients with metastatic breast cancer: evaluation with prognostic factors and Nottingham prognostic index

  • Mu-Tai Liu
  • Wen-Tao Huang
  • Ai-Yih Wang
  • Chia-Chun Huang
  • Chao-Yuan Huang
  • Tung-Hao Chang
  • Chu-Pin Pi
  • Hao-Han Yang
Original Article


Goals of work

The purpose of this study is to analyze the survival rate of patients with metastatic breast cancer and to evaluate the outcome of these patients using prognostic factors and Nottingham prognostic index.

Materials and methods

From February 1992 to August 2008, 135 patients with metastatic breast cancer were treated at the Changhua Christian Hospital. In these patients, we evaluated the significance of the following factors in predicting the survival rate after the occurrence of metastasis: age, initial stage at primary diagnosis, histological grade, Karnofsky performance status (KPS), estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor status, human epidermoid growth factor receptor 2 overexpression status, number of axillary lymph node metastasis, history of adjuvant radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, disease-free interval, status of local recurrence, status of various sites of distant metastases, number of distant metastases, and Nottingham prognostic index.

Main results

The 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival rates were 53.3%, 25.2%, and 1.5%, respectively. In the univariate analysis, KPS, histological grade, ER status, initial stage at primary diagnosis, number of axillary lymph node metastasis, liver metastasis, disease-free interval, first-/second-/third-line chemotherapy for recurrence or metastasis, number of metastases, and Nottingham prognostic index had significant impact on survival. The median survival of patients determined as corresponding to Nottingham low-risk group, intermediate-risk group, and high-risk group was 29.3, 17.9, and 4.6 months, respectively. In our multivariate analysis, Karnofsky performance status (p = 0.030) and Nottingham prognostic index (p ≤ 0.0001) were significant prognostic factors for survival, while first-/second-/third-line chemotherapy for recurrence or metastasis (p = 0.002) was a significant predictor for the outcome of the treatment.


The prognosis of patients with metastatic breast cancer is poor. In spite of the fact that many advances in treatment have been made, numerous additional questions have arisen; new drugs and therapeutic regimens are needed to improve the outcomes of patients, and further well-designed randomized trials are warranted.


Metastatic breast cancer Prognostic index HER2 overexpression Trastuzumab 


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© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mu-Tai Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Wen-Tao Huang
    • 3
  • Ai-Yih Wang
    • 3
  • Chia-Chun Huang
    • 1
  • Chao-Yuan Huang
    • 2
  • Tung-Hao Chang
    • 1
  • Chu-Pin Pi
    • 1
  • Hao-Han Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyChanghua Christian HospitalChanghuaRepublic of China
  2. 2.Department of OncologyNational Taiwan University HospitalTaipeiRepublic of China
  3. 3.Department of Radiological TechnologyYuanpei University of Science and TechnologyHsinchuRepublic of China
  4. 4.Department of MedicineChang Shan Medical UniversityTaichungRepublic of China

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