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Ma K.K.,Queen Mary and Tung Wah Hospital | Chau W.W.,Queen Mary and Tung Wah Hospital | Wong C.H.,Queen Mary and Tung Wah Hospital | Wong K.,Queen Mary and Tung Wah Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention

Background: Ethnic variation in tumor characteristics and clinical presentation of breast cancer is increasingly being emphasized. We studied the tumor characteristics and factors which may influence the presentation and prognosis of triple negative breast cancers (TNC) in a cohort of Chinese women. Methods: A prospective cohort of 1800 Chinese women with breast cancer was recruited in a tertiary referral unit in Hong Kong between 1995 and 2006 and was followed up with a median duration of 7.2 years. Of the total, 216 (12.0%) had TNC and 1584 (88.0%) had non-TNC. Their clinicopathological variables, epidemiological variables and clinical outcomes were evaluated. Results: Patients with TNC had similar age of presentation as those with non-TNC, while presenting at earlier stages (82.4% were stage 1-2, compared to 78.4% in non-TNC, p=0.035). They were likely to be associated with grade 3 cancer (Hazard Ratio(HR)=5.8, p<0.001). TNC showed higher chance of visceral relapse (HR=2.69, p<0.001), liver metastasis (HR=1.7, p=0.003) and brain metastasis (HR=1.8, p=0.003). Compared with non-TNC group, TNC had similar 10-year disease-free survival (82% vs 84%, p=0.148), overall survival (78% vs 79%, p=0.238) and breast cancer-specific mortality (18% vs 16%, p=0.095). However, TNC showed poorer 10-year stage 3 and 4 specific survival (stage 3: 53% vs. 67%, p=0.010; stage 4: 0% vs. 40%, p = 0.035). Conclusions: Chinese women with triple negative breast cancer do not have less aggressive biological behavior compared to the West and presentation at a later stage results in worse prognosis compared with those with non triple negative breast cancer. Source

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