Expression of ER, PgR, HER1, HER2, and response: A study of preoperative chemotherapy

Marco Colleoni, G. Viale, D. Zahrieh, L. Bottiglieri, R. D. Gelber, P. Veronesi, A. Balduzzi, R. Torrisi, A. Luini, M. Intra, S. Dellapasqua, A. Cardillo, R. Ghisini, G. Peruzzotti, A. Goldhirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify the role of estrogen (ER), progesterone (PgR), epidermal growth factor 1 (HER1), and HER2 receptors in predicting response to preoperative chemotherapy. Materials and methods: We reviewed the pretreatment biopsies of 485 patients with locally advanced breast cancer (cT2-T4, N0-2, M0) treated with preoperative chemotherapy. The incidence of pathological complete remission (pCR) and outcome were assessed with respect to clinical and pathological findings including ER/PgR status (absent versus expressed), HER1 (absent versus expressed) and HER2 (overexpressed versus none) expression. Results: Patients with ER/PgR-absent tumors were 12.0 times [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.93-29.28] more likely to achieve a pCR (P < 0.0001). Predictors of disease-free survival (DFS) at the univariate analysis included HER1 [hazards ratio (HR) 1.6, 95% CI 1.04-2.32, P = 0.03] and HER2 (HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.08-2.38, P = 0.02) expression. A statistically significant difference in DFS was confirmed at the multivariate analysis for patients with ER/PgR-absent disease (HR 2.1, 95% CI 1.41-2.99, P = 0.0002). Conclusions: The pCR rate is higher and outcome worse for patients with ER/PgR-absent tumors. HER1 and HER2 expression may have a prognostic role in locally advanced breast cancer and warrant further studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Breast cancer
  • Predictive factors
  • Primary chemotherapy
  • Prognostic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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