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.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Oncology|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research