The 21-gene recurrence score in early non-ductal breast cancer: a National Cancer Database analysis

Della Makower, Jiyue Qin, Juan Lin, Xiaonan Xue, Joseph A. Sparano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The 21-gene recurrence score (RS) is prognostic for recurrence and predictive of chemotherapy benefit in early estrogen receptor-positive (ER +) HER2-negative (HER2-) breast cancer (BCA). We evaluated clinicopathologic characteristics, RS and chemotherapy benefit in invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), and carcinomas of mixed histologies (ductal + lobular (DLC), ductal + other (DOC), lobular + other (LOC)). Women diagnosed between 1/1/2010 and 1/1/2014 with ER + HER2- BCA, measuring <5 cm, with 0–3 involved axillary nodes, surgery as first treatment, and available RS, were identified from the NCDB. Associations between categorical variables were examined using chi-square test. Cox proportional hazards model was used to examine overall survival (OS) differences among histology subtypes. IDC was associated with smaller size, high grade, and RS > 26. ILC was associated with larger size, and least likely to be high grade (p < 0.0001). Lobular histology was associated with lower incidence of RS > 26. IDC patients (pts) were more likely to receive chemotherapy than pts with other histologies (p < 0.0001). OS for IDC, ILC and DOC were similar. DLC was associated with improved OS (HR 0.82, p = 0.02). Adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with improved OS in IDC (HR = 0.76, p < 0.0001) but not in ILC (HR = 0.99, p = 0.93), DLC (HR = 1.04, p = 0.86), DOC (HR = 0.87, p = 0.71), or LOC (HR = 2.91, p = 0.10). Lobular and mixed BCA histologies have distinct clinicopathologic features compared with IDC, and are less likely to have high RS. OS is similar for IDC and ILC. Although chemotherapy benefit was seen only in IDC, benefit for ILC with RS > 26 cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
Journalnpj Breast Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'The 21-gene recurrence score in early non-ductal breast cancer: a National Cancer Database analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this