Breast cancer at a young age is associated with poor prognosis. The Prospective Study of Outcomes in Sporadic and Hereditary Breast Cancer (POSH) was designed to investigate factors affecting prognosis in this patient group. Between 2000 and 2008, 2956 patients aged 40 years or younger were recruited to a UK multicenter prospective observational cohort study (POSH). Details of tumor pathology, disease stage, treatment received, and outcome were recorded. Median age of patients was 36 years. Median tumor diameter was 22mm, and 50% of patients had positive lymph nodes; 59% of tumors were grade 3, 33.7% were estrogen receptor (ER) negative, and 24% were human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive. Five-year OS was higher for patients with ER-positive than ER-negative tumors (85.0%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 83.2% to 86.7% vs 75.7%, 95% CI = 72.8% to 78.4%; P < .001), but by eight years, survival was almost equal. The eight-year OS of patients with ER-positive tumors was similar to that of patients with ER-negative tumors in both HER2-positive and HER2-negative subgroups. The flexible parametric survival model for OS shows that the risk of death increases steadily over time for patients with ER-positive tumors in contrast to patients with ER-negative tumors, where risk of death peaked at two years.
Journal of the National Institue of Cancer, 2013: doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt134
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