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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 61

of 'Prognostic and predictive factors in early, nonmetastatic breast cancer'

Value of epidermal growth factor receptor, HER2, p53, and steroid receptors in predicting the efficacy of tamoxifen in high-risk postmenopausal breast cancer patients.
Knoop AS, Bentzen SM, Nielsen MM, Rasmussen BB, Rose C
J Clin Oncol. 2001;19(14):3376.
PURPOSE: Few studies have examined the possible importance of biologic prognostic factors in breast cancer connected with differentiation and growth in predicting response to a specific adjuvant treatment. HER2, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and p53 have all been suggested as possible markers of tamoxifen resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate interactions between adjuvant treatment with tamoxifen and the content of EGFR, HER2, and p53 in steroid receptor-positive patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 1,716 high-risk postmenopausal breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to treatment with tamoxifen (868 women) or to observation (848 women) in a prospective trial (Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group's 77c protocol). The content of the steroid receptors and expression of p53, EGFR, and HER2 were determined by immunohistochemical analysis of paraffin-embedded tissue. The length of follow-up was 10 years. The end point for this analysis was disease-free survival.
RESULTS: Multivariate analysis demonstrated no increased riskof recurrence after treatment with tamoxifen for HER2-, EGFR-, and p53-positive, high-risk, steroid receptor-positive patients. Patients with steroid receptor-positive tumors and positive immunohistochemical staining for HER2, EGFR or p53 benefited from treatment with tamoxifen for 1 year, although the latter variable contained independent prognostic information by itself.
CONCLUSION: With the statistical power of the present randomized study, we did not find support for the hypothesis that HER2/EGFR or p53 status predicts benefit from tamoxifen treatment in estrogen receptor-positive patients with early-stage breast cancer. Thus, neither HER2, EGFR, nor p53 overexpression/accumulation should be used as a contraindication for giving tamoxifen.
Oncological Research Center, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark. knoop@dadlnet.dk