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Racial differences in estrogen receptor staining levels and implications for treatment and survival among estrogen receptor positive, HER2-negative invasive breast cancers

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ARTICLE DOWNLOAD

Racial differences in estrogen receptor staining levels and implications for treatment and survival among estrogen receptor positive, HER2-negative invasive breast cancers

10$

Kristen S. Purrington, David Gorski, Michael S. Simon, Theresa A. Hastert, Seongho Kim, Rayna Rosati, Ann G. Schwartz & Manohar Ratnam 

Abstract

Background

African American women (AAW) die more frequently from estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer than European American women (EAW). We investigated the relationship between race, percent ER staining, treatment, and clinical outcomes.

Methods

Percent ER staining (weakly ER+: 1–10%, moderately ER+: 11–50%, strongly ER+: > 50%) was abstracted from pathology reports for 1573 women with ER+/HER2− invasive breast cancer treated at a single cancer center in Detroit, MI from 2010 to 2017. Clinical outcomes and tumor characteristics were obtained from the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System. Associations of ER levels with demographic and clinical characteristics were evaluated using logistic regression. Overall and breast cancer-specific (BCS) survival were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results

AAW were more likely to have tumors with lower ER staining levels than EAW (weakly ER+: Odds ratio (OR) 2.19, p = 0.019; moderately ER+: OR 2.80, p = 0.005). Women with weakly compared to strongly ER+ tumors were less likely to receive endocrine therapy (ET) regardless of race (OR 0.79, p < 0.001). Mortality was predicted by both AA race (Overall hazard ratio (HR) = 1.72, p < 0.001; BCS HR 1.45, p = 0.08) and low (1–50%) ER (Overall HR 1.57, p = 0.083; BCS HR 2.11, p = 0.017) adjusting for clinic-pathologic characteristics. ET was associated with improved BCS survival in all women (1–50%: HR 0.11, p < 0.001; > 50%: HR 0.24, p < 0.001).

Conclusion

The biology of ER+/HER2− tumors varies by race, although this does not appear to account for racial differences in survival. Although ET substantially reduces mortality among women with weakly ER+ tumors, these women are less likely to be treated with ET and have poorer outcomes.

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Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s10549-020-05607-4