Breast Cancer Subtypes

  • Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease:
    • Comprising multiple biological entities, each with distinct pathology, features, and clinical implications
  • Gene expression profiling in breast cancer has identified four or five main molecular subtypes of breast cancer recognized as distinct biological entities:
    • Luminal A subtype:
      • ER positive, progesterone receptor [PR] positive and HER-2 negative with low Ki-67 [< 14%]
    • Luminal B subtype:
      • ER positive, PR positive, and HER-2 negative with high Ki-67 [> 14%]
    • Basal-like / triple-negative subtype:
      • ER negative, PR negative, and HER-2 negative
    • HER-2-amplified subtype:
    • Which can be further divided by ER status into:
      • ER negative, HER-2 positive
      • ER positive, HER-2 positive
  • Classifying breast cancer into these subtypes has led to a paradigm shift in how patients are currently stratified and treated

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