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Åke Borg

Åke Borg

Principal investigator

Åke Borg

Abstract P3-02-02: Concordance between immunohistochemical and gene-expression based subtyping of early breast cancer using core needle biopsies and surgical specimens - experices from SCAN-B


  • G Morgan
  • Christer Larsson
  • Balázs Tahin
  • Johan Vallon-Christersson
  • Jari Häkkinen
  • Anna Ehinger
  • Martin Malmberg
  • Cecilia Hegardt
  • Åke Borg
  • Lisa Rydén
  • Lao Saal
  • Ingrid Hedenfalk
  • Niklas Loman

Summary, in English

Introduction: Preoperative chemotherapy in early breast cancer increases the rate of breast preservation and provides prognostic information. Treatment decisions in these cases rely on biomarker assessments and subtyping from tissue acquired through core needle biopsies. Tumor heterogeneity and representativity are pit-falls when limited tissue is available. Biomarker expression may change considerably as a result of preoperative chemotherapy, and in a subset of cases a complete pathological response at time of surgery may even preclude any further assessment. Therefore, the reliability and reproducibility of biomarkers in base-line core biopsies are of utmost importance for patients treated with preoperative chemotherapy.

Material and Methods: In an ongoing population-based study of early breast cancer, the SCAN-B (NCT02306096), patients were identified for whom an ultra-sound guided core needle biopsy was analyzed for biomarkers during primary clinical work-up and the patient was offered primary surgery as initial treatment. Clinical biomarker profiles including immunohistochemical (IHC) determinations of ER, PgR, HER2 and Ki67 were translated to subtypes according to modified St Gallen criteria (2013) and compared with paired samples from surgical specimens. In addition, tumor specimens for biomolecule extraction and RNA sequencing were collected fresh in RNAlater.

Results: IHC data was available from 51 paired samples. The subtype distribution in core needle biopsies was DCIS in 1 case (2 %), LCIS in 1 case (2 %) Luminal A-like in 16 cases (31 %), Luminal B-like (HER2 negative) in 26 cases (51 %), Luminal B-HER2-like (HER2 positive) in 4 cases (8 %), HER2-positive (non-luminal) in 1 case (2 %) and triple negative (ductal) breast cancer in 2 cases (4 %). The subtype distribution in surgical specimens was DCIS in 0 case (0 %), LCIS in 1 case (2 %) Luminal A-like in 18 cases (35 %), Luminal B-like (HER2negative) in 23 cases (45 %), Luminal B--like (HER2 positive) in 6 cases (12 %), HER2-positive (non-luminal) in 1 case (2 %) and triple negative (ductal) breast cancer in 2 cases (4 %). Notably, 5/16 cases classified as Luminal A-like in the core needle biopsy were reclassified as Luminal B-like (HER2-negative) in the surgical specimen, whereas 9/26 cases classified as Luminal B-like (HER2-negative) in the core needle biopsy were reclassified as either Luminal A-like (7 cases) or Luminal B-like (HER2 positive) (2 cases) in the surgical specimen. In all instances, except one, transition between Luminal A-like and Luminal B-like was due to recorded Ki67 expression. One case that was classified as a DCIS in the core needle was reclassified as Luminal B-like (HER2 negative) at time of surgery.

Discussion: In this limited material, discordance between evaluations regarding Luminal A-like and Luminal B-like was considerable. Especially the misclassification of primary HER2-positive breast cancer needs further evaluation. These findings may be caused by tumor heterogeneity, and highlight the risk of both over- and under-treatment upon biomarker assessment from core needle biopsies. Data from gene expression based subtype classifications will be presented during the meeting.


  • Division of Translational Cancer Research
  • Faculty office - The medical degree programme board
  • Tumor Cell Biology
  • BioCARE: Biomarkers in Cancer Medicine improving Health Care, Education and Innovation
  • Breastcancer-genetics
  • Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment
  • Clinical Sciences, Helsingborg
  • Familial Breast Cancer
  • Surgery (Lund)
  • Breast Cancer Surgery
  • The Liquid Biopsy and Tumor Progression in Breast Cancer
  • Translational Oncogenomics
  • Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genomics
  • Tumor microenvironment

Publishing year





Cancer research. Supplement





Document type

Conference paper: abstract


American Association for Cancer Research Inc.


  • Cancer and Oncology

Conference name

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, 2017

Conference date

2017-12-05 - 2017-12-09

Conference place

San Antonio, United States




  • Sweden Cancerome Analysis Network - Breast (SCAN-B): a large-scale multicenter infrastructure towards implementation of breast cancer genomic analyses in the clinical routine

Research group

  • Tumor Cell Biology
  • Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment
  • Familial Breast Cancer
  • Breast Cancer Surgery
  • The Liquid Biopsy and Tumor Progression in Breast Cancer
  • Translational Oncogenomics
  • Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genomics


  • ISSN: 1538-7445