CHARACTERISTICS AND PROGNOSIS OF TRIPLE-NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER PATIENTS: A CROATIAN SINGLE INstitution RETROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY
Keywords:Triple negative breast cancer; Early disease; Adjuvant treatment; Tumor size; Lymph node; Disease free survival; Overall survival; Prognostic factor
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) occurs in around one-sixth of all breast cancer (BC) patients, with the most aggressive behavior and worst prognosis of all BC subtypes. It is a heterogeneous disease, with specific molecular characteristics and natural dynamics of early recurrence and fast progression. Due to the lack of biomarkers or any valid treatment targets, it can only be treated with classic cytotoxic chemotherapy. We analyzed a cohort of 152 patients, median age 58 years, diagnosed with and treated for early stage TNBC at the University Hospital for Tumors, Sestre milosrdnice University Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia, during the 2009-2012 period. Patients were treated with primary surgical approach, adjuvant chemotherapy and adjuvant irradiation. We observed a relatively large proportion of locally advanced TNBC at diagnosis, with large tumor size and nodal involvement, with high grade and high proliferation index Ki67. Patient age, tumor size and lymph node involvement, as expected, were significant and clinically most important prognostic factors for 5-year disease-free survival (67%; 95% CI 60%-75%) and overall absolute survival rate (74%; 95% CI 66%-81%).