"SAN FRANCISCO – Patients with triple-negative breast cancer had no higher risk for metastases in the lymph nodes as compared with patients whose breast cancer was not triple-negative, a review of 2,957 cases found.
The study included patients with invasive breast cancer treated surgically between January 2000 and May 2012. Immunohistochemical identification of markers showed that 2,201 (74%) had luminal A subtype breast cancer (estrogen receptor– and progesterone receptor–positive and HER2 negative), 344 (12%) had luminal B subtype (all three markers positive), 144 (5%) were HER2 positive but estrogen and progesterone receptors–negative, and 278 (9%) were negative for all three markers (the triple-negative group). The study excluded men, patients treated with neoadjuvant therapy, patients with distant metastases, and those who did not undergo nodal sampling.
At least one positive lymph node was found in 35% of patients, and four or more positive nodes were found in 10% of patients.
Patients in the triple-negative group were significantly younger at diagnosis and significantly more likely to have higher-grade tumors, compared with patients with other subtypes of breast cancer. Grade 3 cancer was seen in 87% of the triple-negative group and in 27% of the luminal A group, 51% of the luminal B group, and 80% of the HER2-positive group, Dr. Alexandra Gangi and her associates reported at a breast cancer symposium sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology."