John Libbey Eurotext

Bulletin du Cancer


Long term prognostic value of steroid receptors in breast cancer Volume 85, issue 4, Avril 1998


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We screened for the prognostic value of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) through a multicentric study of 2,257 operable breast cancer patients who did not received adjuvant therapy. Three hundred and seven local-regional recurrences, 105 metachronous contralateral breast cancer, 589 metastases and 537 deaths from cancer had been diagnosed with a median follow-up of 8.5 years. A total of 69% of the tumors were ER positive and 54% PR positive. For statistical analysis, 1,665 patients were studied because of complete clinical and biological data. In univariate analysis, ER and PR status were of prognostic value for the metastases-free interval (MFI) and the overall survival (OS). In multivariate analysis (Cox proportional hazard model), only the ER status showed a significant difference between positive and negative groups regarding the MFI and OS. By using Cox regression model with time-dependent covariates, we show that the predictive value of ER status of the primary tumor decreases by approximately 20% per year, losing its significance after 8 years of follow-up. These results show that ER and PR status have a relatively limited predictive value and their major interest remain in the domain of therapeutic decision.