A study of triple negative breast cancer at a tertiary cancer care center in southern India
Background: Triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are a diverse and heterogeneous group of tumors that by definition lack estrogen and progesterone receptors and amplification of the HER‑2 gene. The majority of the tumors classified as TNBCs are highly malignant, patients are usually young and only a subgroup of patients responds to conventional chemotherapy with a favorable prognosis. Various studies have been reported in western literature on TNBCs, all highlighting the poor prognosis of this subtype. However, extensive data from India is lacking.
Aim: The aim of this study was to analyze the epidemiological and clinical profile of TNBCs at our institute.
Materials and Methods: This was the retrospective study carried out in Tertiary Cancer Care Center in South India. Case files of all breast cancer patients were reviewed from the hospital database registered in 1 year and TNBC patients were selected for the study. Patient’s characteristic, treatment, and histological features were analyzed.
Results: A total of 322 patients were registered during the period of 1 year and 26% (84/322) of total patients were TNBC. Median age of presentation was 44.5 years. About 94% (79/84) of patients had first full‑term delivery before the age of 30 years. The most common presenting symptom was left sided breast lump. Locally advanced and early breast cancer (EBC) was 51% (43/84) and 42% (36/84), respectively. Metastatic breast cancer was seen in five patients. The highest numbers of patients were node negative disease (36.9%) [31/84], followed by N1 30.95% (26/84). Most of the patients had high‑grade tumor. 94% (34/36) of cases of EBC had undergone upfront modified radical mastectomy. Invasive ductal carcinoma was the predominant histology except one who had medullary carcinoma. Twenty‑four patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). There was no pathological complete remission, but all patients responded to NACT. Metastatic disease was seen in five patients. All patients had bone metastasis.
Conclusions: TNBCs are highly aggressive subtype, with high grade with limited treatment options and very poor prognosis. Incidence is more in our country than the western literature. Even in our country also the incidence is varies in different region. TNBCs are significantly associated with young aged patients. There was a lack of association between tumor size and lymph node positivity.
Keywords: Breast cancer, Triple negative, Invasive ductal carcinoma