Author(s): Schnitt SJ
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Abstract For many years, patient age, axillary lymph node status, tumor size, histological features (especially histological grade and lymphovascular invasion), hormone receptor status, and HER2 status have been the major factors used to categorize patients with breast cancer in order to assess prognosis and determine the appropriate therapy. These factors are most often viewed in combination to group patients into various risk categories. Although these risk categories are useful for assessing prognosis and risk in groups of patients with breast cancer, their role in determining prognosis and evaluating risk in an individual patient is more limited. Therefore, better methods are required to help assess prognosis and determine the most appropriate treatment for patients on an individual basis. Recently, various molecular techniques, particular gene expression profiling, have been increasingly used to help refine breast cancer classification and to assess prognosis and response to therapy. Although the precise role of these newer techniques in the daily management of patients with breast cancer continues to evolve, it is clear that they have the potential to provide value above and beyond that provided by the traditional clinical and pathological prognostic and predictive factors.
This article was published in Mod Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis