Effect of age and biological subtype on the risk and timing of brain metastasis in breast cancer patients

Man Hsin Hung, Chun Yu Liu, Cheng Ying Shiau, Chin Yi Hsu, Yi Fang Tsai, Yu Ling Wang, Ling Chen Tai, Kuang Liang King, Ta Chung Chao, Jen Hwey Chiu, Cheng Hsi Su, Su Shun Lo, Cheng Hwai Tzeng, Yi Ming Shyr, Ling Ming Tseng

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49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Brain metastasis is a major complication of breast cancer. This study aimed to analyze the effect of age and biological subtype on the risk and timing of brain metastasis in breast cancer patients. Patients and Methods: We identified subtypes of invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast by determining estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and HER2 status. Time to brain metastasis according to age and cancer subtype was analyzed by Cox proportional hazard analysis. Results: Of the 2248 eligible patients, 164 (7.3%) developed brain metastasis over a median follow-up of 54.2 months. Age 35 or younger, HER2-enriched subtype, and triple-negative breast cancer were significant risk factors of brain metastasis. Among patients aged 35 or younger, the risk of brain metastasis was independent of biological subtype (P= 0.507). Among patients aged 36-59 or >60 years, those with triple-negative or HER2-enriched subtypes had consistently increased risk of brain metastasis, as compared with those with luminal A tumors. Patients with luminal B tumors had higher risk of brain metastasis than luminal A only in patients >60 years. Conclusions: Breast cancer subtypes are associated with differing risks of brain metastasis among different age groups. Patients age 35 or younger are particularly at risk of brain metastasis independent of biological subtype.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere89389
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Feb 2014

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