|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Authors||Alexe, G, Dalgin, GS, Scanfeld, D, Tamayo, P, Mesirov, JP, Delisi, C, Harris, L, Barnard, N, Martel, M, Levine, AJ, Ganesan, S, Bhanot, G|
Gene expression analysis has identified biologically relevant subclasses of breast cancer. However, most classification schemes do not robustly cluster all HER2+ breast cancers, in part due to limitations and bias of clustering techniques used. In this article, we propose an alternative approach that first separates the HER2+ tumors using a gene amplification signal for Her2/neu amplicon genes and then applies consensus ensemble clustering separately to the HER2+ and HER2- clusters to look for further substructure. We applied this procedure to a microarray data set of 286 early-stage breast cancers treated only with surgery and radiation and identified two basal and four luminal subtypes in the HER2- tumors, as well as two novel and robust HER2+ subtypes. HER2+ subtypes had median distant metastasis-free survival of 99 months [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 83-118 months] and 33 months (95% CI, 11-54 months), respectively, and recurrence rates of 11% and 58%, respectively. The low recurrence subtype had a strong relative overexpression of lymphocyte-associated genes and was also associated with a prominent lymphocytic infiltration on histologic analysis. These data suggest that early-stage HER2+ cancers associated with lymphocytic infiltration are a biologically distinct subtype with an improved natural history.