Assessment of Ki67 in Breast Cancer: Recommendations from the international Ki67 in breast cancer working Group

Mitch Dowsett, Torsten O. Nielsen, Roger A'Hern, John Bartlett, R. Charles Coombes, Jack Cuzick, Matthew Ellis, N. Lynn Henry, Judith C. Hugh, Tracy Lively, Lisa McShane, Soon Paik, Frederique Penault-Llorca, Ljudmila Prudkin, Meredith Regan, Janine Salter, Christos Sotiriou, Ian E. Smith, Giuseppe Viale, Jo Anne ZujewskiDaniel F. Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Uncontrolled proliferation is a hallmark of cancer. In breast cancer, immunohistochemical assessment of the proportion of cells staining for the nuclear antigen Ki67 has become the most widely used method for comparing proliferation between tumor samples. Potential uses include prognosis, prediction of relative responsiveness or resistance to chemotherapy or endocrine therapy, estimation of residual risk in patients on standard therapy and as a dynamic biomarker of treatment efficacy in samples taken before, during, and after neoadjuvant therapy, particularly neoadjuvant endocrine therapy. Increasingly, Ki67 is measured in these scenarios for clinical research, including as a primary efficacy endpoint for clinical trials, and sometimes for clinical management. At present, the enormous variation in analytical practice markedly limits the value of Ki67 in each of these contexts. On March 12, 2010, an international panel of investigators with substantial expertise in the assessment of Ki67 and in the development of biomarker guidelines was convened in London by the cochairs of the Breast International Group and North American Breast Cancer Group Biomarker Working Party to consider evidence for potential applications. Comprehensive recommendations on preanalytical and analytical assessment, and interpretation and scoring of Ki67 were formulated based on current evidence. These recommendations are geared toward achieving a harmonized methodology, create greater between-laboratory and between-study comparability, and allow earlier valid applications of this marker in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1656-1664
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 16 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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