Survival improvement in hormone-responsive young breast cancer patients with endocrine therapy
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We investigated the oncologic outcomes by intrinsic subtype and age in young breast cancer patients and whether survival differences were related to treatment changes over time.
A retrospective analysis was performed on 9633 invasive breast cancer patients treated at Asan Medical Center from January 1989 to December 2008. We also enrolled a matched cohort adjusting for tumor size, lymph node metastasis, subtypes, and tumor grade. Patients aged <35 years were included in the younger group (n = 602) and those aged ≥35 years were included in the older group (n = 3009).
The younger patients showed a significantly higher T stage, a more frequent axillary node presentation, higher histologic grade, and higher incidence of triple-negative subtype tumors than older patients and also received more chemotherapy and were less likely to undergo hormone therapy. The younger patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive tumors showed significantly poorer disease-free survival (DFS), loco-regional recurrence-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival, and breast cancer-specific survival outcomes than older patients. Younger patients with HR-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumor subtypes had a significantly improved DFS over time (p = 0.032). Within the HR-positive/Her2-negative subtype, more women received gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist and tamoxifen treatment from 2003 to 2008 compared with 1989 to 2002 (p = 0.001 and p = 0.075, respectively).
HR-positive young breast cancer patients have a poorer survival compared with older patients, even with more frequent chemotherapy, but more recent use of tamoxifen and ovarian suppression might improve this outcome in these patients.
KeywordsBreast cancer Gonadotropin-releasing hormone Endocrine therapy Young age
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interests for all authors.
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