Author(s): Sunderland MC, McGuire WL
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Abstract Tumor size and axillary lymph node involvement are the primary determinants of clinical course for most patients. Receptors for estrogen and progesterone are important additional prognostic factors for disease-free survival, overall survival, survival time after initial disease recurrence, and the likelihood of response to hormonal therapy. Histologic grading has merit as a prognostic factor, although poor reproducibility limits its broad application. Promising data have been emerging from the use of flow cytometry to analyze DNA content and proliferative rate. Patients with aneuploid tumors are more likely to have a shorter survival time than patients with diploid tumors. A high S-phase fraction also identifies a subset of patients at increased risk for early relapse. A combined index of ploidy and S-phase may be a more useful guide; together, diploidy and low S-phase identify a subgroup of node-negative patients at very low risk for disease recurrence. A number of oncogenes have been identified in breast cancer; amplification of the HER-2/neu gene or overexpression of the gene product may be an important prognostic indicator for node-positive patients.
This article was published in Surg Clin North Am
and referenced in Breast Cancer: Current Research