Journal Article
. 2018 Jan;36(7).
doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.74.5448.

Racial Differences in 21-Gene Recurrence Scores Among Patients With Hormone Receptor-Positive, Node-Negative Breast Cancer

Andreana N Holowatyj 1 Michele L Cote 1 Julie J Ruterbusch 1 Kristina Ghanem 1 Ann G Schwartz 1 Fawn D Vigneau 1 David H Gorski 1 Kristen S Purrington 1 
  • PMID: 29341832
  •     44 References
  •     5 citations


Purpose The 21-gene recurrence score (RS) breast cancer assay is clinically used to quantify risk of 10-year distant recurrence by category (low, < 18; intermediate, 18 to 30; high, ≥ 31) for treatment management among women diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, lymph node-negative breast cancer. Although non-Hispanic black (NHB) women have worse prognosis compared with non-Hispanic white (NHW) women, the equivalency of 21-gene RS across racial groups remains unknown. Patients and Methods Using the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System, we identified women who were diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, lymph node-negative invasive breast cancer between 2010 and 2014. Multinomial logistic regression was used to quantify racial differences in 21-gene RS category. Results We identified 2,216 women (1,824 NHW and 392 NHB) with invasive breast cancer who met clinical guidelines for and underwent 21-gene RS testing. The mean RS was significantly higher in NHBs compared with NHWs (19.3 v 17.0, respectively; P = .0003), where NHBs were more likely to present with high-risk tumors compared with NHWs (14.8% v 8.3%, respectively; P = .0004). These differences were limited to patients younger than 65 years at diagnosis, among whom NHBs had significantly higher RS compared with NHWs (20 to 49 years: 23.6 v 17.3, respectively; P < .001 and 50 to 64 years: 19.6 v 17.4, respectively; P = .023). NHBs remained more likely to have high-risk tumors compared with NHWs after adjusting for age, clinical stage, tumor grade, and histology (odds ratio [OR], 1.75; 95% CI, 1.18 to 2.59). Conclusion NHBs who met clinical criteria for 21-gene RS testing had tumors with higher estimated risks of distant recurrence compared with NHWs. Further study is needed to elucidate whether differences in recurrence are observed for these women, which would have clinical implications for 21-gene RS calibration and treatment recommendations in NHB patients.

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