Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Characterization of clinicopathological features, treatment practices, and outcomes among Finnish advanced breast cancer patients in real-life clinical practice

List of AuthorsHeinolainen Krista, Saarinen Silva, Vertuani Simona, Ellonen Antti, Karlsson Antti, Utriainen Meri, Carlqvist Peter, Mandelin Jami, Holm Barbro


Publication year2023

JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology


Journal acronymJ CANCER RES CLIN

Number of pages11



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Purpose: In recent years, several new targeted therapies have emerged for advanced breast cancer (aBC). However, real-life data specific to aBC and different breast cancer subtypes are scarce. This retrospective cohort study was designed to describe the distribution of aBC subtypes, incidence, treatment patterns, survival, and PIK3CA hotspot mutation frequency.

Methods: The study included all patients in the Hospital District of Southwest Finland diagnosed with aBC between 2004 and 2013 and with a sample available in Auria Biobank. In addition to registry-based data collection, 161 HR+/HER2- aBCs were screened for PIK3CA mutations.

Results: Altogether, 54.7% of the 444 patients included in the study had luminal B subtype. The smallest representations were in HR-/HER2+ (4.5%) and triple-negative (5.6%) subgroups. The percentage of aBC among all diagnosed breast cancers increased until 2010, after which it remained stable. The triple-negative cancers were associated with shorter median overall survival (5.5 months) compared to other subgroups (16.5-24.6 months). Most (84%) triple-negative cancers also metastasized during the first two years, whereas this was more evenly distributed over time in other subgroups. Of the HR+/HER2- tumors, 32.3% harbored a PIK3CA hotspot mutation. These patients, however, did not have inferior survival compared to patients with PIK3CA wild-type cancers.

Conclusion: This study described real-world aBC subgroups and indicated that the clinical outcomes of subgroups vary. Although PIK3CA hotspot mutations did not lead to inferior survival, they are relevant as possible treatment targets. Overall, these data could be utilized to further evaluate the subgroup-specific medical needs in breast cancer.

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Last updated on 2023-09-06 at 13:52