The Case to Case Comparison of Hormone Receptors and HER2 Status between Primary Breast Cancer and Synchronous Axillary Lymph Node Metastasis

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand.

2 Department of Pathology and Forensic science, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand.

3 Department of Surgery, Thammasat Hospital, Pathumthani, Thailand.

Abstract

Background: Nowadays, the adjuvant treatment for breast cancer patients chosen depends on immunohistochemical pattern of Estrogen receptor(ER), Progesterone receptor(PR) and HER2 status of primary breast tumor. Several retrospective studies showed significant discordance in receptor expression between primary and metastatic tumors. The objective of this research was to determine discordant rate of ER, PR and HER2 status between primary breast cancer and synchronous axillary lymph node metastasis of individual breast cancer patients in Thammasat University Hospital. Methods: A prospective observational study of all breast cancer patients who have axillary metastasis and underwent surgery at Thammasat Hospital between January 2011 to December 2015. Tumor staging, ER, PR, and HER2 status on primary breast tumor were recorded. Synchronous axillary lymph node metastasis was evaluated with immunohistochemistry for ER, PR, and HER2. Results: The ER-positive rate from primary tumor to synchronous axillary lymph node metastasis decreased from 74.7% to 71.7%; the HER2 overexpression rate was decreased from 26% to 24%. In contrast, PR positive rate were 71% in both primary tumor and synchronous axillary lymph node metastasis. In case to case comparison, discordance rate of ER, PR and HER2 status between primary breast cancer and synchronous axillary lymph node metastasis were 11.1%, 20.2% and 10.1%, respectively. Furthermore, the tumor staging was not significant associated with discordance of ER, PR and HER2. Conclusion: ER, PR and HER 2 biomarkers showed significant concordance between primary tumor and synchronous axillary lymph node metastasis. Hence, if we cannot assess the ER, PR and HER2 status in primary tumor, then synchronous axillary lymph node metastasis can be studied instead. However, the repeat of biomarker testing in node-positive breast cancer patients may be beneficial for tailored adjuvant therapy, especially for patients with negative hormone receptor and/or HER2 profile on primary tumor.

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