Journal Article
. 2019 Dec;38(7).
doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.01959.

Prognostic Impact of the 21-Gene Recurrence Score Assay Among Young Women With Node-Negative and Node-Positive ER-Positive/HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

Philip D Poorvu 1 Shari I Gelber 1 Shoshana M Rosenberg 1 Kathryn J Ruddy 2 Rulla M Tamimi 3 Laura C Collins 4 Jeffrey Peppercorn 5 Lidia Schapira 6 Virginia F Borges 7 Steven E Come 4 Ellen Warner 8 Debbie M Jakubowski 9 Christy Russell 9 Eric P Winer 1 Ann H Partridge 1 
  • PMID: 31809240
  •     37 References
  •     3 citations


Purpose: The 21-gene recurrence score (RS) assay is prognostic among women with early-stage estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) breast cancer and is used to inform recommendations for chemotherapy. Women ≤ 40 years of age represent a minority of patients studied using gene expression profiles.

Methods: The Young Women's Breast Cancer Study is a prospective cohort of women diagnosed with breast cancer at age ≤ 40 years and enrolled patients between 2006 and 2016 (N = 1,302). We identified patients with stage I-III ER+/HER2- breast cancer. The RS assay was performed on banked specimens for patients who had not been tested clinically. Distant recurrence-free survival (DRFS) was assessed by TAILORx and traditional RS risk groups among patients with axillary node-negative (N0) and limited node-positive (N1) breast cancer.

Results: Among eligible women (N = 577), 189 (33%) had undergone RS testing, and 320 (56%) had banked specimens sufficient for testing. Median follow-up was 6.0 years. Median age at diagnosis was 37.2 years; 300 of 509 patients (59%) had N0 breast cancer, of whom 195 (65%) had an RS of 11-25 and fewer than half (86 of 195; 44%) received chemotherapy. Six-year DRFS rates were 94.4% and 92.3% (RS < 11), 96.9% and 85.2% (RS 11-25), and 85.1% and 71.3% (RS ≥ 26) among women with N0 and N1 disease, respectively.

Conclusion: The RS assay is prognostic among young women with node-negative and limited node-positive breast cancer, representing a valuable tool for risk stratification. Disease outcomes with a median follow-up of 6 years among young women with N0 disease and an RS of 0-25, a minority of whom received chemotherapy, and node-positive disease with an RS < 11 were very good, whereas those with N0 disease and an RS ≥ 26 or N1 disease with an RS ≥ 11 experienced substantial risk of early distant recurrence.

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