Triple-negative breast cancer: clinical features and patterns of recurrence.


PURPOSE To compare the clinical features, natural history, and outcomes for women with "triple-negative" breast cancer with women with other types of breast cancer. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN We studied a cohort of 1,601 patients with breast cancer, diagnosed between January 1987 and December 1997 at Women's College Hospital in Toronto. Triple-negative breast cancers were defined as those that were estrogen receptor negative, progesterone receptor negative, and HER2neu negative. The prognostic significance of triple-negative breast cancer was explored. RESULTS The median follow-up time of the 1,601 women was 8.1 years. One hundred and eighty of 1,601 patients (11.2%) had triple-negative breast cancer. Compared with other women with breast cancer, those with triple-negative breast cancer had an increased likelihood of distant recurrence (hazard ratio, 2.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.0-3.5; P < 0.0001) and death (hazard ratio, 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.3-4.5; P < 0.001) within 5 years of diagnosis but not thereafter. The pattern of recurrence was also qualitatively different; among the triple-negative group, the risk of distant recurrence peaked at approximately 3 years and declined rapidly thereafter. Among the "other" group, the recurrence risk seemed to be constant over the period of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS Triple-negative breast cancers have a more aggressive clinical course than other forms of breast cancer, but the adverse effect is transient.

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@article{Dent2007TriplenegativeBC, title={Triple-negative breast cancer: clinical features and patterns of recurrence.}, author={Rebecca Alexandra Dent and Maureen Elizabeth Trudeau and Kathleen I. Pritchard and W. Mark Hanna and Harriet K. Kahn and Carol Anne Sawka and Lavina A. Lickley and Ellen Rawlinson and P. A. Sun and S A Narod}, journal={Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research}, year={2007}, volume={13 15 Pt 1}, pages={4429-34} }