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19.10.2018 | Clinical trial | Ausgabe 2/2019

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2/2019

Prognosis in different subtypes of metaplastic breast cancer: a population-based analysis

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment > Ausgabe 2/2019
Xuexin He, Jiali Ji, Rongrong Dong, Hong Liu, Xiaolan Dai, Chongjian Wang, Francisco J. Esteva, Sai-Ching Jim Yeung
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10549-018-5005-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Xuexin He and Jiali Ji contributed equally to this work.



Metaplastic breast cancer (MpBC) is a rare histological subtype of breast cancer recognized as a unique pathologic entity in 2000. However, the pathogenesis, optimal therapy, and prognosis of MpBC and the potential effect of systemic treatments on different subtypes of MpBC are not well defined.


A retrospective population-based study was performed to identify breast cancer patients with MpBC and other triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) between 2010 and 2014 using the surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Chi-square test was used to analyze characteristics between subgroups. Kaplan–Meier analysis and Multivariate Cox regressions were used to evaluate overall survival (OS) of MpBC, TNBC, and MpBC subgroups. Competing risk analysis and multivariate regression model of competing risk were used to assess breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) of MpBC and TNBC


We identified a study cohort of 22,433 patients (1112 MpBC and 21,321 TNBC). MpBC correlated with older population, larger tumor size and less lymph node involvement, and TNBC phenotype. Patients with MpBC especially with triple-negative subtype (TN-MpBC) had worse survival than the overall TNBC population. However, the prognosis of MpBC without triple-negative subtype (non-TN MpBC) was not different from that of TNBC. In Kaplan–Meier analysis, chemotherapy was not associated with significant difference in OS of TN-MpBC. In non-TN MpBC group, the 3-year OS was 79.8% for patients receiving chemotherapy and 70.5% in patients without chemotherapy, and chemotherapy was associated (P = 0.033) with improved OS. Within the MpBC patients, radiotherapy was significantly (HR 1.544; 95% CI 1.148–2.078; P = 0.004) associated with improved OS and (HR 1.474; 95% CI 1.067–2.040; P = 0.019) BCSS.


Patients with TN-MpBC had worse prognosis than TNBC and chemotherapy was not associated with improved survival. In contrast, non-TN MpBC may derive survival benefit from chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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