The hormone receptor (HR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) are the main parameters in guiding systemic treatment choices in breast cancer, but can change during the disease course. This study aims to evaluate the biopsy rate and receptor subtype discordance rate in patients diagnosed with advanced breast cancer (ABC).
Patients diagnosed with ABC in seven hospitals in 2007–2018 were selected from the SOutheast Netherlands Advanced BREast cancer (SONABRE) registry. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify factors influencing biopsy and discordance rates.
Overall, 60% of 2854 patients had a biopsy of a metastatic site at diagnosis. One of the factors associated with a reduced biopsy rate was the HR + /HER2 + primary tumor subtype (versus HR + /HER2- subtype: OR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.51–0.90). Among the 748 patients with a biopsy of the primary tumor and a metastatic site, the overall receptor discordance rate was 18%. This was the highest for the HR + /HER2 + primary tumor subtype, with 55%. In 624 patients with metachronous metastases, the HR + /HER2 + subtype remained the only predictor significantly related to a higher discordance rate, irrespective of prior (neo-)adjuvant therapies (OR = 7.49; 95% CI: 3.69–15.20).
The HR + /HER2 + subtype has the highest discordance rate, but the lowest biopsy rate of all four receptor subtypes. Prior systemic therapy was not independently related to subtype discordance. This study highlights the importance of obtaining a biopsy of metastatic disease, especially in the HR + /HER2 + subtype to determine the most optimal treatment strategy.
This study aimed to identify the association between Ki-67 level and the prognosis of patients with breast cancer, regardless of the timing of Ki-67 testing (using preoperative biopsy vs. postoperative specimen).
A total of 4177 patients underwent surgery between January 2008 and December 2016. Immunohistochemical Ki-67 levels, using either preoperative (1673) or postoperative (2831) specimens, were divided into four groups using cutoff points of 10%, 15%, and 20%.
Groups with higher-Ki-67 levels, in both the pre- and postoperative periods, showed significantly larger tumor size, higher grade, more frequent hormone receptor-negativity and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 overexpression, and active adjuvant treatments than groups with lower-Ki-67 levels. High-Ki-67 levels were also significantly associated with poor survival, irrespective of the timing of specimen examination.
Despite the problems associated with Ki-67, Ki-67 level is an important independent prognostic factor, regardless of the timing of Ki-67 testing, i.e., preoperative or postoperative testing.