Monday, November 2, 2009

Recent Studies of TNBC: Most Women Survive


Two recent studies in China add definition to the characteristics of triple negative breast cancer in an Asian population:

In research published in Clinical Oncology August 25, 2009 on 770 breast cancer patients at Shenzhen People’s Hospital, 17.1 percent, or 130 cases, were triple negative. The characteristics of TNBC patients:

• 68.9 percent, or 91 patients, were premenopausal

• 53.8 percent, or 71 patients, had tumors larger than 2cm

• 39.4 percent, or 52 patients, had lymph node metastasis

• At a median time of follow-up of 63 months, 33 patients (25 percent) relapsed and 20 died. Twenty-three patients had at least two organs metastasis.

• The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 73.8 percent and the 5-year overall survival rate was 85.7 percent.

And in a study published online in advance of publication in Modern Pathology October 23, 2009 on 7048 breast cancer patients at the Department of Pathology, Singapore General Hospital, 11 percent were triple negative. Eighty-four percent of these were basal-like.

The major take-away here, to me, is that 73.8 percent of the triple negative breast cancer cases survived five years disease-free. Overall, 85.7 percent survived overall. This is great news to those newly diagnosed women who are terrified. The great majority of TNBC women survive.

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