Breast cancer recurrence according to molecular subtype

Hee Jin Shim, Sung Hun Kim, Bong Joo Kang, Byung Gil Choi, Hyeon Sook Kim, Eun Suk Cha, Byung Joo Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background: To evaluate the location of tumor relapse and imaging modality for detection according to the breast cancer subtype: luminal A, luminal B, HER2 positive luminal B, nonluminal HER2 positive, and triple negative. Materials and Methods: A total of 1244 patients with breast cancer with known estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), Ki-67 and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), who underwent breast surgery from 2009 to 2012 were analyzed. Patients were classified into the following categories: luminal A (n=458), luminal B (n=241), HER2 positive luminal B (n=227), nonluminal HER2 positive (n=145) and triple negative (n=173). A total of 105 cases of relapse were detected in 102 patients: locoregional recurrence (n=46), recurrence in the contralateral breast (n=28) and distant metastasis (n=31). Comparison of proportions was used to determine the difference between subtypes. Results: Relapse rates by subtypes are as follows: luminal A 23 of 458 (5.02%), luminal B 19 of 241(7.88%), HER2 positive luminal B 15 of 227 (6.61%), nonluminal HER2 postive 19 of 145 (13.10%) and triple negative 29 of 173(16.76%). Luminal A tumors had the lowest rate of recurrence and had significantly lower recurrence rate in comparison with nonluminal HER2 postive (p=0.0017) and triple negative subtypes (p<0.0001). Compared with all other subtypes except nonluminal HER2 positive, triple negative tumors had the highest rate of tumor recurrence (p<0.01). Triple negatives were most likely to develop contralateral recurrence against all subtypes (p<0.05). Detection rate of locoregional and contralateral tumor recurrence were 28.3% on mammography (n=17/60). Conclusions: Luminal A tumors are associated with a low risk of recurrence while triple negative lesions have a high risk. In case of triple negative tumors, the contralateral breast has much more recurrence as compared with all other subtype. In terms of detection rates, breast USG was the best modality for detecting tumor recurrence, compared with other modalities (p<0.05). Subtyping of breast tumors using a molecular gene expression panel can identify patients who have increased risk of recurrence and allow prediction of locations of tumor recurrence for each subtype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5539-5544
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2014


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Estrogen
  • Receptors
  • Recurrence
  • Triple negative breast neoplasms
  • Ultrasonography


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