Male breast cancer: Specific biological characteristics and survival in a Portuguese cohort

Saudade André, Teresa Pereira, Fernanda Silva, Patrícia Machado, Fátima Vaz, Mariana Aparício, Giovani L Silva, António E Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Male breast cancer (BC) represents an individual subtype of BC, with therapeutic procedures based on female BC therapy results. The present study evaluated the parameters currently used for the characterization and therapy of male BC, and their association with disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS), aiming to obtain a comprehensive basis to improve the personalized care of male BC. A total of 196 patients from March 1970 to March 2018 (mean follow-up, 84.9 months) were profiled, using clinicopathological review, molecular assessment [BRCA1/2, DNA repair associated (BRCA1/2) status, immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization and DNA flow cytometry] and Cox regression statistical analysis. The median age of patients was 66.5 years. At presentation, 39.2% of patients with invasive carcinomas were in anatomic stage (AS) I. Patients exhibited primarily invasive carcinomas of no special type, histological grade 2, estrogen receptor α-(ERα) and progesterone receptor (PR)-positive, receptor tyrosine kinase erbB-2-negative, high Ki-67, Luminal B-like and aneuploid tumors. A total of 13 of the 44 (29.5%) BRCA-evaluated patients exhibited BRCA2 mutations, significantly associated with family history (FH), bilaterality, high Ki-67 expression, absence of PR and Luminal B-like tumors. Bilaterality was associated with the occurrence of non-breast primary neoplasms (NBPN). The 5 and 10-year DFS rates, excluding patients with distant metastasis, NBPN and in situ carcinomas (n=145) were 65.9 and 58.2%, respectively, and the 5 and 10-year OS rates were 77.5 and 59.2%, respectively. In the univariate analysis, Luminal B-like subtype, BRCA2 mutations, high Ki-67 expression, and AS II and III were significantly associated with shorter DFS and OS. In addition, age >70 years was associated with low OS. In the multivariate analysis, FH, AS II and III, and Luminal B-like subtypes were associated with poorer OS. In conclusion, the data from the present study emphasize the high incidence of BRCA2 mutation in male BC, and its association with FH, bilaterality, high Ki-67 expression, negative PR expression and Luminal B-like subtypes, and with shorter DFS and OS in univariate analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-654
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • male breast cancer
  • clinicopathological characteristics
  • molecular features
  • survival


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