The 21-gene Recurrence Score® assay predicts distant recurrence in lymph node-positive, hormone receptor-positive, breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant sequential epirubicin- and docetaxel-based or epirubicin-based chemotherapy (PACS-01 Trial)

Authors : Frédérique Penault-Llorca, Thomas Filleron, Bernard Asselain, Frederick L Baehner, Pierre Fumoleau, Magali Lacroix-Triki, Joseph M Anderson, Carl Yoshizawa, Diana B Cherbavaz, Steven Shak, Lise Roca, Christine Sagan, Jérôme Lemonnier, Anne-Laure Martin, Henri Roché.

BMC Cancer. 2018 May 4;18(1):526. doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-4331-8.

Experts group or program : French Breast Cancer Intergroup (UCBG)


The 21-gene Recurrence Score (RS) result predicts outcome and chemotherapy benefit in node-negative and node-positive (N+), estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) patients treated with endocrine therapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic impact of RS results in N+, hormone receptor-positive (HR+) patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy (6 cycles of FEC100 vs. 3 cycles of FEC100 followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel 100 mg/m2) plus endocrine therapy (ET) in the PACS-01 trial (J Clin Oncol 2006;24:5664-5671).


The current study included 530 HR+/N+ patients from the PACS-01 parent trial for whom specimens were available. The primary objective was to evaluate the relationship between the RS result and distant recurrence (DR).


There were 209 (39.4%) patients with low RS (< 18), 159 (30%) with intermediate RS (18-30) and 162 (30.6%) with high RS (≥ 31). The continuous RS result was associated with DR (hazard ratio = 4.14; 95% confidence interval: 2.67-6.43; p <  0.001), adjusting for treatment. In multivariable analysis, the RS result remained a significant predictor of DR (p <  0.001) after adjustment for number of positive nodes, tumor size, tumor grade, Ki-67 (immunohistochemical status), and chemotherapy regimen. There was no statistically significant interaction between RS result and treatment in predicting DR (p = 0.79).


After adjustment for clinical covariates, the 21-gene RS result is a significant prognostic factor in N+/HR+ patients receiving adjuvant chemoendocrine therapy.


Not applicable.

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