Changes in multiple or sequential estrogen receptor determinations in breast cancer

Joseph C. Allegra, Audrey Barlock, Karen K. Huff, Marc E. Lippman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Estrogen receptor (ER) analyses are widely used in the management of patients with breast cancer. Few data are available concerning variations in ER as a function of time and therapy. We examined patients in whom multiple biopsies and receptor analyses were either performed simultaneously or over time with or without intervening chemotherapy or endocrine therapy. In 27 patients with simultaneous assays from different metastatic sites, concordant results were obtained in 23 (85%) with respect to classifying a tumor as ER+ or ER-. In 34 patients, multiple assays were performed over time. The receptor concentrations were concordant in patients receiving no intervening therapy. In 10 patients receiving hormonal therapy, the median receptor concentration changed from 66 femtomoles per mg cytoplasmic protein pretherapy to 8 femtomoles post therapy (P<0.05). This change suggested that hormonal therapy selectively eliminates ER+ cells. In 19 patients receiving intervening chemotherapy, the median receptor concentrations pre and post therapy were similar. We conclude that simultaneous assays from multiple metastatic sites are highly concordant and unlikely to change over time without intervening therapy, but marked changes occur following therapy with a decrease in receptor concentration after endocrine therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-794
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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