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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 15

of 'Hormone receptors in breast cancer: Clinical utility and guideline recommendations to improve test accuracy'

Estrogen receptor in primary breast cancer estimated in paraffin-embedded tissue. A study of its usefulness compared to dextran-coated charcoal assay.
Andersen J, Thorpe SM, Rose C, Christensen I, Rasmussen BB, Poulsen HS
Acta Oncol. 1991;30(6):685.
Estrogen receptor (ER) was estimated immunohistochemically in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue from the primary breast cancer in 349 postmenopausal patients with a high risk of recurrence and compared with the results of dextran-coated charcoal assay. There was a highly significant correlation between the ER classification obtained by the two methods (p less than 10(-6)). Patients ER positive according to immunohistochemical estimate had a significantly longer disease-free survival (p less than 0.001) and survival (p less than 0.001) than ER negative patients. The DCC assay showed an advantage of ER positive patients of the same magnitude. The patients, who were followed for a median of 86 months, were a subset of 1,700 patients participating in the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group's randomized trial of adjuvant tamoxifen (TAM) treatment. In the presently analyzed subset of patients there were no statistically significant difference in disease-free survival (p = 0.52) or survival (p = 0.54) between patients who received adjuvant TAM and the controls. The same was true for receptor-defined subgroups regardless if the ER receptor was estimated in paraffin-embedded tissue or by the dextran-coated charcoal method. The analyzed subset might have been too small for demonstrating a positive effect of adjuvant TAM treatment.
Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Danish Cancer Society, Arhus.