Absent estrogen receptor and increased recurrence rate in breast cancer

W. Knight, R. B. Livingston, E. J. Gregory, W. L. McGuire

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5 Scopus citations


Estrogen receptors (ER) were determined as positive (ER+) or negative (ER-) on tissue from primary tumors in 113 women with operable breast cancer. All had mastectomy and axillary node dissection by the same surgeons, without knowledge of receptor status. Recurrences are documented in 19(17%): 11/34 ER- and 8/79 ER+ pts., (32 vs 10%, p < .01) with mean followup of 16 months in each group. Higher recurrence rates in ER- pts. appear independent of these factors: pathologic stage (I, 3/18 ER- vs 3/45 ER+; II, 8/17 ER- vs 5/33 ER+, p < .05); adjuvant therapy (3/9 ER- vs 1/16 ER+); and postoperative radiotherapy (9/20 ER- vs 4/33 ER+, p < .05). ER- pts. tend to be younger (mean age, 50 vs 60), but no significant differences were seen in proportion of Stage I vs. II pts. who were ER- (29 vs 34%); fraction of ER- vs ER+ pts. who received radiotherapy (59 vs 42%); or fraction of ER- vs ER+ pts. who received adjuvant therapy (26 vs 20%). Frequency of modified vs classical radical mastectomy, of medial quadrant lesions, and of T3 lesions was similar in the 2 groups. Recurrence was as frequent in Stage I, ER- pts. (3/18 or 17%) as in Stage II, ER+ pts. (5/33 or 15%). Conclusion: Lack of ER in the primary breast tumor is a newly defined factor of major prognostic impact in pts. undergoing mastectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)No. C-19
JournalProceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research
VolumeVol. 18
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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