Time-dependent relevance of steroid receptors in breast cancer

Danila Coradini, Maria Grazia Daidone, Patrizia Boracchi, Elia Biganzoli, Saro Oriana, Gianluigi Bresciani, Cinzia Pellizzaro, Gorana Tomasic, Giovanni Di Fronzo, Ettore Marubini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To analyze the time-dependent prognostic role of the investigated variables, considered, when appropriate, on a continuous scale, for the purpose of evaluating and describing the interrelationships between clinically relevant patient and tumor characteristics (age, size and histology, and estrogen receptor [ER] and progesterone receptor content) and the risk of new disease manifestation. Patients and Methods: We applied a flexible statistical model to a case series of 1,793 patients with axillary lymph node-negative breast cancer with a minimal potential follow-up of 10 years. To avoid a potential confounding effect of adjuvant treatment, only patients given local-regional therapy until relapse were considered. Results: ER content and tumor size (adjusted for all the other covariates) showed a time- dependent relationship with the risk of new disease manifestations. In particular, ER content failed to show a prognostic effect within the first years of follow-up; thereafter, a positive association with risk of relapse was observed. For tumor size, within the first years of follow-up, the risk of relapse was directly related to size for only tumors up to 2.5 cm in diameter; thereafter, the impact on prognosis progressively decreased. Conclusion: The availability of a long- follow-up on a large breast cancer series, as well as the use of innovative statistical approaches, allowed us to explore the functional relation between sterid receptors and clinical outcome and to generate a hypothesis on the involvement of ER in favoring long-term metastasis development. (C) 2000 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2702-2709
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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