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Study finds least aggressive form of breast cancer still poses risk for death years later
Date:9/18/2012

PASADENA, Calif., September 18, 2012 Women with the most common and least aggressive subtype of breast cancer were still at risk of death from the disease more than 10 years after diagnosis, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The 21-year study included nearly 1,000 women from Kaiser Permanente Southern California and found that molecular subtypes of breast cancer were important independent predictors of breast cancer mortality. In particular, women with luminal A tumors a subtype of breast cancer that is generally thought to have the best prognosis were still at risk for death from the cancer more than 10 years after diagnosis.

Researchers also found that women with HER2-enriched and luminal B tumors had roughly a two-fold increased risk of death from breast cancer compared to women who are diagnosed with luminal A tumors, a finding that is consistent with previous studies.

"The findings of this study indicate that it is important to consider breast cancer molecular subtypes in determining the optimal treatment for women with breast cancer," said study lead author Reina Haque, PhD, MPH, from Kaiser Permanente Southern California's Department of Research & Evaluation. "Women with luminal A tumors the least aggressive but most common cancerous breast tumor could benefit from extended treatment to improve their chances for long-term survival."

Breast cancer tumors are often divided into four molecular subtypes:

  • luminal A, which tends to have the best prognosis with fairly high survival rates;
  • luminal B, which typically occurs in younger women and has a poor prognosis;
  • the basal-like subtype, which also tends to occur in younger women, as well as African American women, and has a poor prognosis;
  • and the HER2-enriched subtype, which has a fairly poor prognosis and is prone to early and frequent recurrence and
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Contact: Vincent Staupe
vstaupe@golinharris.com
415-318-4386
Kaiser Permanente
Source:Eurekalert

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