Title: Validation of the 70-gene signature test (MammaPrint) to identify patients with breast cancer aged ≥ 70 years with ultralow risk of distant recurrence: A population-based cohort study

Publication: Journal of Geriatric Oncology, Vol.13, Issue 8, P1172-1177, November 2022

Authors: Noordhoek et al.


When risk estimation in older patients with hormone receptor positive breast cancer (HR + BC) is based on the same factors as in younger patients, age-related factors regarding recurrence risk and other-cause mortality are not considered. Genomic risk assessment could help identify patients with ultralow risk BC who can forgo adjuvant treatment. However, assessment tools should be validated specifically for older patients. This study aims to determine whether the 70-gene signature test (MammaPrint) can identify patients with HR + BC aged ≥70 years with ultralow risk for distant recurrence.


Inclusion criteria: ≥70 years; invasive HR + BC; T1-2N0-3M0. Exclusion criteria: HER2 + BC; neoadjuvant therapy. MammaPrint assays were performed following standardized protocols. Clinical risk was determined with St. Gallen risk classification.

Primary endpoint was 10-year cumulative incidence rate of distant recurrence in relation to genomic risk. Subdistribution hazard ratios (sHR) were estimated from Fine and Gray analyses. Multivariate analyses were adjusted for adjuvant endocrine therapy and clinical risk.


This study included 418 patients, median age 78 years (interquartile range [IQR] 73–83). Sixty percent of patients were treated with endocrine therapy. MammaPrint classified 50 patients as MammaPrint-ultralow, 224 patients as MammaPrint-low, and 144 patients as MammaPrint-high risk. Regarding clinical risk, 50 patients were classified low, 237 intermediate, and 131 high. Discordance was observed between clinical and genomic risk in 14 MammaPrint-ultralow risk patients who were high clinical risk, and 84 patients who were MammaPrint-high risk, but low or intermediate clinical risk. Median follow-up was 9.2 years (IQR 7.9–10.5).

The 10-year distant recurrence rate was 17% (95% confidence interval [CI] 11–23) in MammaPrint-high risk patients, 8% (4–12) in MammaPrint-low (HR 0.46; 95%CI 0.25–0.84), and 2% (0–6) in MammaPrint-ultralow risk patients (HR 0.11; 95%CI 0.02–0.81). After adjustment for clinical risk and endocrine therapy, MammaPrint-high risk patients still had significantly higher 10-year distant recurrence rate than MammaPrint-low (sHR 0.49; 95%CI 0.26–0.90) and MammaPrint-ultralow patients (sHR 0.12; 95%CI 0.02–0.85). Of the 14 MammaPrint-ultralow, high clinical risk patients none developed a distant recurrence.


These data add to the evidence validating MammaPrint’s UltraLow risk threshold. Even in high clinical risk patients, MammaPrint-ultralow risk patients remained recurrence-free ten years after diagnosis. These findings justify future studies into using MammaPrint to individualize adjuvant treatment in older patients.