Table 3.

Correlation between presence of circulating HER2-positive tumor cells and clinicopathologic variables in primary breast cancer patients (n = 35)

Clinicopathologic variablesPatients with HER2-positive CTCs, n/total (%)P*
pT stage
    pT211/29 (37.9)0.006
    pT36/6 (100)
Lymph node status
    Negative10/25 (40)NS
    Positive5/8 (62.5)
Histologic grading
    I0/4 (0)0.033
    II-III17/30 (56.7)
ER status
    Positive6/18 (33.3)0.039
    Negative11/16 (68.7)
PR status
    Positive8/20 (40)NS
    Negative9/14 (64.3)
HER2 status
    Negative12/24 (50)NS
    Positive2/3 (66.7)
EGFR status
    Negative2/3 (14.3)NS
    Positive12/24 (50)
MIB-1 labeling index
    20%8/19 (42.1)NS
    >20%8/12 (66.7)
bcl-2 status
    Negative6/6 (100)NS
    Positive7/13 (53.8)
p53 mutation
    No10/17 (58.8)NS
    Yes4/7 (71.4)
  • NOTE: Staining was evaluable for HER2 and EGFR in 27 (77.1%), for Ki-67(MIB-1 labeling index) in 31 (88.6%), for bcl-2 in 25 (71.4%), and for p53 in 24 (68.6%) of 35 patients with primary breast cancer.

    Abbreviation: NS, not significant.

  • * χ2 test.