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Table 1 Breast cancer patient characteristics during the period January 2000–June 2003

From: Central nervous system relapse in patients with breast cancer is associated with advanced stages, with the presence of circulating occult tumor cells and with the HER2/neu status

  Early stage breast cancer (n = 253) Advanced/metastatic stage breast cancer (n = 239) Central nervous system relapse (n = 51) P value
Age (years) (median (range)) 51 (28–75) 53 (31–81) 55 (30–70)  
Menopausal status     
   Premenopausal 109 (43.1) 108 (45.2) 31 (60.8) 0.071
   Postmenopausal 144 (56.9) 131 (54.8) 20 (39.2)  
Estrogen receptor status     
   Positive 118 (46.6) 126 (52.7) 25 (49) 0.51
   Negative 120 (47.4) 105 (43.9) 25 (49)  
   Unknown 15 (6) 8 (3.3) 1 (2)  
Histology     
   Ductal 195 (77) 182 (76.1) 38 (74.5) 0.287b
   Lobular 20 (7.9) 21 (8.7) 5 (9.8)  
   Other 38 (15.1) 36 (16.2) 8 (15.6)  
HER-2 status     
   Positive 31 (12.3) 43 (18) 27 (52.9) 0.002
   Negative 130 (51.4) 124 (51.9) 16 (6.2)  
   Unknown 92 (36.4) 72 (30.1) 8 (4.8)  
Dominant disease localization at baseline     
   Viscera - 134 (56) 27 (66)α 0.036c
   Soft tissues - 63 (26.3) 6 (20)  
   Bones - 42 (17.5) 8 (14)  
Cytokeratin 19 mRNA-positive cells     
   Positive 29 (12) 49 (21) 33 (65) 0.041
   Negative 224 (88) 190 (79) 18 (35)  
Taxane-based treatment     
   Yes 127 178 (75) 39 (12.8)  
   No 126 61 (25) 12 (6.4)  
Response to chemotherapy -    
   Complete response + partial response - 117 (49) 23 (56.3)a 0.59
   Stable disease - 69 (29) 8 (18.7) 0.42
   Progressive disease - 53 (22) 10 (25) 0.55
  1. Data presented as n (%). aProportion of patients corresponds to the 41 patients with advanced/metastatic disease. b P value corresponds to the incidence of central nervous system relapses between patients with lobular and ductal histology. c P value corresponds to the incidence of central nervous system relapses between patients with visceral disease localization and other disease sites (soft tissue + bones).