The 70-gene prognosis signature (van’t Veer et al., Nature 415(6871):530–536, 2002) may improve the selection of lymph node-negative breast cancer patients for adjuvant systemic therapy. Optimal validation of prognostic classiﬁers is of great importance and we therefore wished to evaluate the prognostic value of the 70-gene prognosis signature in a series of relatively recently diagnosed lymph node negative breast cancer patients.
We evaluated the 70-gene prognosis signature in an independent representative series of patients with invasive breast cancer (N = 123; 55 years; pT1-2N0; diagnosed between 1996 and 1999; median follow-up 5.8 years) by classifying these patients as having a good or poor prognosis signature. In addition, we updated the follow-up of the node-negative patients of the previously published validation-series (Van de Vijver et al., N Engl J Med 347(25):1999–2009, 2002; N = 151; median follow-up 10.2 years). The prognostic value of the 70-gene prognosis signature was compared with that of four commonly used clinicopathological risk indexes. The endpoints were distant metastasis (as ﬁrst event) free percentage (DMFP) and overall survival (OS). Results The 5-year OS was 82 ± 5% in poor (48%) and 97 ± 2% in good prognosis signature (52%) patients (HR 3.4; 95% CI 1.2–9.6; P = 0.021). The 5-years DMFP was 78 ± 6% in poor and 98 ± 2% in good prognosis signature patients (HR 5.7; 95% CI 1.6–20; P = 0.007). In the updated series (N = 151; 60% poor vs. 40% good), the 10-year OS was 51 ± 5% and 94 ± 3% (HR 10.7; 95% CI 3.9–30; P 0.01), respectively. The DMFP was 50 ± 6% in poor and 86 ± 5% in good prognosis signature patients (HR 5.5; 95% CI 2.5–12; P 0.01). In multivariate analysis, the prognosis signature was a strong independent prognostic factor in both series, outperforming the clinicopathological risk indexes.
The 70-gene prognosis signature is also an independent prognostic factor in node-negative breast cancer patients for women diagnosed in recent years.