Survival of Triple Negative versus Triple Positive Breast Cancers: Comparison and Contrast

  • Negi, Preety (Department of Radiation Oncology, Christian Medical College & Hospital) ;
  • Kingsley, Pamela Alice (Department of Radiation Oncology, Christian Medical College & Hospital) ;
  • Jain, Kunal (Department of Medical Oncology, Christian Medical College & Hospital) ;
  • Sachdeva, Jaineet (Department of Radiation Oncology, Christian Medical College & Hospital) ;
  • Srivastava, Himanshu (Department of Radiation Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre) ;
  • Marcus, Sudeep (Department of Radiation Oncology, Christian Medical College & Hospital) ;
  • Pannu, Aman (Department of Neurology, Christian Medical College & Hospital)
  • Published : 2016.08.01


Background: Triple negative (TN) and triple positive (TP) breast cancers both are aggressive types but TN generally has a shorter survival. Objectives: To compare the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes for patients with TN versus TP breast cancer and to assess various prognostic factors affecting overall survival. Materials and Methods: A retrospective audit of 85 breast cancer patients was conducted in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology on patients from 2006 to 2013 for whom IHC for ER, PgR and Her-2 neu were available. The patients were stratified into: ER-, PR- and Her-2 neu- (Arm A, n=47) and ER+, PgR+ and Her-2 neu+ (Arm B, n=38). Results: TN subtype had higher numbers of premenopausal and advanced stage patients as compared to TP subtype. The locoregional recurrence (LRR) and distant metastatic rate was also higher in TN subtype but there was no definite pattern in both the arms. Among the prognostic factors, patients with premenopausal status and advanced stage in TN breast cancer had inferior survival (P=0.07) whereas for those with postmenopausal status and early stage there was no survival difference between the two arms. Conclusions: TN subtype tends to be more aggressive in terms of younger age and advanced stage at presentation, higher tumour grade, LRR and metastasis, suggesting need for future research efforts on providing aggressive treatment to these patients. We could attribute better outcome for TP subtype to receptor positivity enabling role of hormonal treatment and targeted therapy, although less number of patients received targeted therapy.


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