Back to Journals » Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy » Volume 9

Discordance of the estrogen receptor and HER-2/neu in breast cancer from primary lesion to first and second metastatic site

Authors Lower EE, Khan S, Kennedy D, Baughman RP

Received 22 March 2017

Accepted for publication 28 April 2017

Published 2 August 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 515—520


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Elyse E Lower,1 Shagufta Khan,2 Diane Kennedy,1 Robert P Baughman1

1Department of Medicine, 2Department of Pathology, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Background: Hormone receptor and HER-2/neu discordance between the primary lesion and first metastasis has been reported. This study was performed to determine further biomarker discordance rates between the first and subsequent metastatic breast cancer lesions.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of paired biomarkers from primary breast cancers compared to first reported and subsequent metastases from 103 patients with breast cancer. The estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER-2/neu status were reported at all three time points. In addition, hormone, cytotoxic, and targeted treatments were recorded for primary and metastatic disease, and survival was determined.
Results: Between the primary and first metastases, discordance rates for ER, PR, and HER-2/neu were 15.8%, 33.7%, and 14.3%, respectively. There was discordance between the first and second metastases for the ER receptor in 18.8%, PR receptor in 19.8%, and HER-2/neu in 10.7%. Overall, there was discordance between the primary tumor and either the first or second metastases for ER in 27.7%, PR receptor in 40.7%, and HER-2/neu in 19.6% of cases. Discordance of either ER or PR affected survival, with worse survival experienced by those patients with all three hormone receptors remaining negative, and intermediate survival reported for those with discordant tumors (ER χ2=14.27, p=0.0008; PR χ2=11.31, p=0.0035). There was no difference in survival for patients whose HER-2/neu tumors were discordant.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that continued metastatic disease evolution may be associated with different tumor biology and that studies of metastatic lesions appear warranted, especially if targeted therapy is an option.

Keywords: breast cancer, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, survival, HER-2/neu, tumor discordance

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]