Triple Negative Breast Cancer: a Retrospective Study of Hispanics Residing in Puerto Rico

Fernando Cabanillas, María Y. Giraldo-Jiménez, Viviana Negrón, Miguel Echenique, Pablo Mojica, Karen Santiago, Vanessa Marcial, Rafael Vaquer, Victor Carlo-Vargas


Objective: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) demonstrates unique clinicopathological characteristics and survival outcomes. Several studies have documented important disparities in Hispanic women compared to other racial/ethnic groups; nevertheless, data on this entity in a population based Latin country are very limited. Our goal was to assess demographic and clinicopathological characteristics in essentially a pure population of Puerto Rican females with TNBC residing in Puerto Rico, as well as to determine their overall survival and progression-free survival in order to compare with published data. Methods: By searching the electronic medical records data base, 54 patients were identified as TNBC. The median follow-up period was 25 months (range, 2-78). Univariate analysis of pretreatment risk factors was conducted. Results: The median age at diagnosis was 55 years. Of 54 cases, 51 had stage I-III presentation. T1/T2 tumors were found in 88.9% and absence of nodal involvement in 68.5%. Prognostic factors for progression free survival (PFS) that were statistically significant were lymph node involvement (p=0.02), tumor size > 2 cm (p=0.037) and stage IV (p=0.00002). The 5-year overall survival and PFS were 81% and 80%, respectively. Conclusion: Results are very similar to published data on females from North America and Europe. Differences in clinical outcome and stage at diagnosis in Hispanic women with TNBC are more likely explained by socioeconomic status and adequate access to care, rather than biological/genetic differences. The association of triple negative breast cancer with poor prognosis deserves re-evaluation given that patients with negative node involvement and no metastasis appear to be highly curable.


Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Hispanic, Demographic, Clinicopathologic, Survival

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