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Table 1 Breast cancer intrinsic subtypes with prevalent immuno-histochemical profiles and options of treatment [3]

From: Molecular characterization and targeted therapeutic approaches in breast cancer

Intrinsic subtype

cDNA microarrays



Luminal A

The highest expression of the ER α gene, GATA-binding protein 3, X-box-binding protein 1, trefoil factor 3, hepatocyte nuclear factor 3 α, and estrogen-regulated LIV-1

ER- and/or PR-positive HER2-negative Ki-67 < 14%

Endocrine therapy (chemotherapy for selected patients)

Luminal B

Low to moderate expression of the luminal-specific genes, including the ER cluster

ER- and/or PR-positive HER2-negative with Ki-67 ≥ 14%

Endocrine therapy ± chemotherapy

ER- and/or PR-positive HER2-positive with any Ki-67

Chemotherapy + anti-HER2 therapy + endocrine therapy


High expression of several genes in the ERBB2 amplicon at 17q22.24, including ERBB2 and GRB7

ER- and PR-negative HER2-positive

Chemotherapy + anti-HER2 therapy


High expression of keratins 5 and 17, laminin, and fatty acid-binding protein 7

ER- and PR-negative HER2-negative


  1. ER, estrogen receptor; HER2, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; IHC, immunohistochemistry; PR, progesterone receptor.