Human breast cancer: identification of populations with a high risk of early relapse in relation to both oestrogen receptor status and c-erbB-2 overexpression
May, E.; Mouriesse, H.; May-Levin, F.; Qian, J.F.; May, P.; Delarue, J.C.
British Journal of Cancer 62(3): 430-435
We recently defined a new early prognostic factor, the ER+(R) status, which permits the discrmination of a group presenting a high risk of early relapse among the ER+ patients. This group was referred to as ER+ (R2) in contrast to ER+ (R1) which corresponded to the group of ER+ patients having a lower risk of early relapse. Taking into account the whole population including the ER- and inflammatory tumours, we have extended this view and showed that ER+ (R) status is significant predictor of disease-free survival. Determination of c-erbB-2 mRNA levels in the same series of tumours showed that high expression of c-erbB-2 mRNA is significantly correlated with ER-, inflammatory tumours and with lymph nodes involvement. Moreover, a multivariate analysis showed that c-erbB-2 mRNA overexpression was a significant predictor of early relapse (P = 0.02), as significant as ER negativity and ER+ (R2). For ER+ patients a high level of c-erbB-2 mRNA constitutes a higher risk of relapse for both ER+ (R1) and ER+(R2) patients. However, in the case of ER- patients, early relapses were strongly correlated with c-erbB-2 overexpression. The counterpart of this observation is that ER- patients with no overexpression of c-erbB-2 constitute a group with a relatively good prognosis.