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Breast Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 52–57 | Cite as

Biological characteristics of luminal subtypes in pre- and postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive and HER2-negative breast cancers

  • Keiko Murase
  • Ayako Yanai
  • Masaru Saito
  • Michiko Imamura
  • Yoshimasa Miyagawa
  • Yuichi Takatsuka
  • Natsuko Inoue
  • Takashi Ito
  • Seiichi Hirota
  • Mitsunori Sasa
  • Toyomasa Katagiri
  • Yasuhisa Fujimoto
  • Takuya Hatada
  • Shigetoshi Ichii
  • Tomoyuki Nishizaki
  • Naohiro Tomita
  • Yasuo MiyoshiEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negetive breast cancers can be divided into luminal A and luminal B subtypes based on Ki67 expression levels. However, the biological differences in ER and progesterone receptor (PR) expression levels between these luminal subtypes are not clear.

Methods

We examined immunohistochemical expression levels of ER, PR, and Ki67 in 180 ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancers while taking menopausal status into account. Breast cancers were divided according to ER and PR levels (H: >50%, L: ≤50%), and luminal A and B were classified by the Ki67 labeling index (A: Ki67 <14%, B: Ki67 ≥14%).

Results

When breast cancers were classified based on ER and PR levels, the distribution of pre- and postmenopausals was significantly different for luminal A (P < 0.0001), but not for luminal B cancers. As for luminal A, ER-H/PR-L cancers were rare among premenopausals (8%), but frequent among postmenopausals (54%). Correlation between ER and PR levels among luminal A cancers was strong in premenopausals but weak in postmenopausals. Since crosstalk with growth factor signaling is unlikely in luminal A, we speculate that intratumoral estrogen insufficiency contributed to the characteristics of postmenopausal ER-H/PR-L cancers.

Conclusion

We speculate that the biological characteristics of luminal A cancers are influenced by the estrogen environment, but its influence on luminal B cancers may be limited. We believe these considerations constitute useful information for a better understanding of the biology of ER-positive-HER2-negetive breast cancers.

Keywords

Breast cancer Luminal subtype Ki67 

Notes

Conflict of interest

Officers or advisers of companies or for-profit organizations: Dr. Toyomasa Katagiri (Memeber of the Board of Oncotherapy Science Co., Ltd). Honoraria paid by companies or for-profit organization as compensation for time or labor of researcher engaged for conference attendance: Dr. Yasuo Miyoshi (Astrazeneca K.K., Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Novartis K.K.).

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Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keiko Murase
    • 1
  • Ayako Yanai
    • 1
  • Masaru Saito
    • 1
  • Michiko Imamura
    • 1
  • Yoshimasa Miyagawa
    • 1
  • Yuichi Takatsuka
    • 1
  • Natsuko Inoue
    • 1
  • Takashi Ito
    • 2
  • Seiichi Hirota
    • 2
  • Mitsunori Sasa
    • 3
  • Toyomasa Katagiri
    • 4
  • Yasuhisa Fujimoto
    • 5
  • Takuya Hatada
    • 6
  • Shigetoshi Ichii
    • 7
  • Tomoyuki Nishizaki
    • 8
  • Naohiro Tomita
    • 9
  • Yasuo Miyoshi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Breast and Endocrine, Department of SurgeryHyogo College of MedicineNishinomiyaJapan
  2. 2.Surgical PathologyHyogo College of MedicineNishinomiyaJapan
  3. 3.Tokushima Breast Care ClinicTokushimaJapan
  4. 4.Division of Genome Medicine, Institute of Genome ResearchTokushima UniversityTokushimaJapan
  5. 5.Tachibana HospitalAmagasakiJapan
  6. 6.Uminosato ClinicMinamiawajiJapan
  7. 7.Department of SurgeryRokko Island HospitalKobeJapan
  8. 8.Division of Bioinformation, Department of PhysiologyHyogo College of MedicineNishinomiyaJapan
  9. 9.Division of Lower GI, Department of SurgeryHyogo College of MedicineNishinomiyaJapan

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