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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Triple negative breast carcinoma is a prognostic factor in Taiwanese women

Che Lin1, Su-Yu Chien2, Li-Sheng Chen1, Shou-Jen Kuo1, Tsai-Wang Chang3* and Dar-Ren Chen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan

2 Department of Pharmacology, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan

3 Department of General Surgery, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:192  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-192

Published: 18 June 2009

Abstract

Background

Currently, there is a debate as to whether triple negative breast carcinoma (TNBC) has a worse prognosis than non-TNBC. Our aim was to determine whether TNBC is a prognostic factor for survival.

Methods

We identified 1,048 Taiwanese breast carcinoma patients, of whom 167 (15.9%) had TNBC. Data used for analysis were derived from our cancer registry database for women with breast cancer who were diagnosed between 2002 January and 2006 December.

Results

In the Kaplan-Meier analysis, tumor subgroup (TNBC vs. non-TNBC) was a prognosis factor related to 5-year overall survival. In the univariate analysis, tumor subgroup (TNBC vs. non-TNBC) was a significant factor related to 5-year overall survival, in addition to age, tumor size, lymph node, metastasis, grade, stage, estrogen receptor status, progesterone receptor status, and HER2 overexpression status. In the multivariate analysis, tumor subgroup was not a significant factor related to 5-year disease-free survival (DFS). In node-positive patients, tumor subgroup was a significant factor related to 5-year overall survival, in addition to age, tumor size, metastasis, and grade. In node-negative patients, tumor subgroup was not a significant factor related to 5-year disease-free survival and 5-year overall survival.

Conclusion

Our results indicated that TNBC patients in Taiwan have worse 5-year overall survival than non-TNBC patients. Notably, in node-positive patients, TNBC played a prognostic role in 5-year overall survival.