© 2015 Li et al. Purpose: A lack of progesterone receptor (PgR) expression in oestrogen receptor-positive (ER+) tumours is associated with worse survival. PgR status is usually defined as positive or negative using 1% positive nuclei as a cut-off point. In this study, we aimed to assess the clinicopathologic characteristics of ER+/PgR-/HER2- tumours by comparing them with ER +/PgR+/HER2- tumours using a PgR cut-off point of 20% as a divisive criterion. Methods: We analysed 1,522 patients with primary breast cancer who had undergone surgery at the Cancer Center of Fudan University between 2012 and 2014. Age, grade, tumour size, lymph node status and lymphovascular invasion were assessed. Multinomial logistic regression, linear regression and chi-square test models were applied to assess associations between ER, PR and clinical features. Results: ER+/PgR-/HER2- tumours showed poorer clinicopathologic characteristics relative to ER +/PgR+/HER2- tumours using a PgR threshold of 20% instead of 1%. The clinicopathologic characteristics did not differ between tumours with purely negative PgR expression and tumours with a PgR percentage ranging from 1% to 19%. The prognostic significance of PR expression appeared more pronounced in patients under a high Ki-67 status than those under a low Ki-67 status. Conclusions: Based on these findings, we propose the use of a novel threshold of 20% to define PgR status. Nevertheless, the impact of this new criterion on patient management and clinical treatment requires additional study.
Li, A. Q., Zhou, S. L., Li, M., Xu, Y., Shui, R. H., Yu, B. H., & Yang, W. T. (2015). Clinicopathologic characteristics of oestrogen receptor-positive/progesterone receptor-negative/Her2-negative breast cancer according to a novel definition of negative progesterone receptor status: A large population-based study from China. PLoS ONE, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0125067