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Hormone receptors and Her2 expression in breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa. A comparative study of biopsies from Ghana and Norway.

The Breast Journal

Breast Neoplasms, metabolism, pathology, Female, Ghana, Humans, Middle Aged, Norway, Receptor, ErbB-2, Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms, Africa South of the Sahara

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      Hormonal treatment of breast cancer is effective only in patients whose tumors express estrogen and/or progesterone receptors (ER, PR). Receptor assessment is often not available in low-resource areas, and the choice may be to apply endocrine therapy to all or none of breast cancer patients, depending on the proportion of patients that can be expected to respond. Fifty-one invasive breast cancers from Ghana and 100 from Norway diagnosed in the same laboratory during the same time period were reexamined in a blinded slide review. Of Ghanaian tumors, 76% were ER+ (≥1% ER+ tumor cells). Of Norwegian tumors, 85% were ER+. Triple-negative tumors were seen in 22% of Ghanaian patients and in 7% of Norwegian patients. A review of previous similar studies in sub-Saharan patients shows very discrepant results. Standardization and quality control of receptor assessment and well-designed clinical trials in sub-Saharan African breast cancer patients are needed to give a sound basis for endocrine treatment in this area. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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