Poorer Survival of Male Breast Cancer Compared with Female Breast Cancer Patients May Be Due to Biological Differences

1Department of Breast Oncology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital , Key Laboratory of Breast, Tianjin.
Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 2.02). 08/2013; 43(10). DOI: 10.1093/jjco/hyt116
Source: PubMed


The objective of the study was to compare disease-free survival and overall survival in a group of matched males and females with breast cancer, and to analyze possible treatment- and gender-related differences.
We retrospectively analyzed the data of 150 operable male breast cancer patients treated in our hospital from December 1980 to June 2012. Each male breast cancer patient recorded in the database was matched with two female breast cancer patients of equal stage. Prognosis in terms of disease-free survival and overall survival was evaluated.
The mean age at diagnosis was 58.6 ± 9.7 years for males and 57.2 ± 10.3 years for females. The median follow-up was 69 months for males and 81 months for females. Significant differences were identified for tumor location, hormone receptor status, molecular subtypes and hormone therapy between the two groups. Monofactorial analysis demonstrated that tumor size, lymph node state, American Joint Committee on Cancer stage, molecular subtypes and adjuvant chemotherapy treatment were prognostic factors in male breast cancer patients. The 5- and 10-year disease-free survival rates were 65.6 and 40.1% for males, and 74.9 and 51.5% for females, respectively. The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates were 72.9 and 53.9% for males, and 83.2 and 68.5% for females, respectively. There was significantly difference in disease-free survival and overall survival between the two matched groups (P = 0.002).
Male breast cancer patients had inferior outcome despite of equal stage in comparison with matched female breast cancer patients, which demonstrates that biological differences may contribute to the worse prognosis.

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    • "Prognostic factors for MBC are mostly studied in retrospective investigations with small samples. Men with breast cancer reportedly have poorer outcomes than matched women patients, even at the same disease stages, which might be because of variations in tumor biology between male and female patients [3]. Ethnic differences might also affect the prognosis of MBC [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Less than 1% of all breast cancer cases are found in men, who reportedly have inferior outcomes compared with matched women patients. Ethnic differences may also affect their prognosis. Here, we investigated overall survival (OS) and major prognostic factors for male breast cancer (MBC) in a cohort of Egyptian patients. We retrospectively analyzed OS in a cohort of 69 male patients with MBC who were surgically treated at the Mansoura Cancer Center, Egypt between 2000 and 2007. We registered demographic data, age, height, weight and body mass index, tumor size, histology, number of infiltrated axillary lymph nodes, hormone receptor (HR) status and metastatic presence, and TNM staging. Patients' OS was the primary endpoint. Patients received treatment to the medical standards at the time of their diagnosis. In the 69 patients who met the inclusion criteria and had complete stored patient data, tumors ranged from T1c to T3. We could gather cancer-related survival data from only 56 patients. The collective 5-year survival in this cohort was 46.4%. Only five patients had distant metastasis at diagnosis, but they showed a null percent 5-year survival, whereas those with no lymph node infiltration showed a 100% 5-year survival. Lymph node status and tumor grading were the only prognostic factors that significantly affected OS. Lymph node status and tumor grade are the most important prognostic factors for overall survival of MBC in Egyptian male patients; whereas even remarkably low HR expression in MBC did not significantly affect OS. Further research is needed to understand the factors that affect this disease.
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