Linking survival of HER2-positive breast carcinoma patients with surgical invasiveness

Elda Tagliabue, Roberto Agresti, Patrizia Casalini, Luigi Mariani, Maria Luisa Carcangiu, Andrea Balsari, Umberto Veronesi, Sylvie Ménard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The early peak of relapse in patients with breast carcinomas that overexpress HER2 oncoprotein and dissemination to the axillary lymph nodes might be related to proliferation of micrometastatic lesions induced by EGF family growth factors released at the time of surgery. If the levels of these growth factors have an impact on relapse, the survival of patients with positive nodes and HER2-positive tumours should be dependent on surgery wideness. To test this hypothesis, HER2 status of primary tumours from patients included in a randomized clinical trial addressing conservative quadrantectomy versus radical mastectomy was retrospectively analyzed. In HER2-negative patients, independently of node infiltration, and in HER2-positive patients without node infiltration, no differences in survival according to the type of surgery were observed. In patients with positive nodes and HER2-positive tumours the estimation of the time-dependent log-hazard ratios showed that radical mastectomy significantly increased early death rates (P = 0.037).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1061
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - May 2006



  • Breast cancer
  • HER2
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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