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Molecular Subtypes

The 13th St Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference (2013) Expert Panel recommends the use of four biomarkers for molecular subtyping of breast cancer:

  • ERBB2 (HER2, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2)
  • ESR1 (estrogen receptor 1)
  • PGR (progesterone receptor)
  • MKI67 (marker of proliferation Ki-67, a marker expressed in proliferating cells)

Based on recommendations of the St Gallen Consensus group, these markers are used to identify 5 distinct subtypes:

  • Luminal A-like
  • Luminal B-like (HER2 negative)
  • Luminal B-like (HER2 positive)
  • HER2 positive (non-luminal)
  • Triple negative (ductal)

Each of these subtypes is associated with a clear therapy recommendation and distinct characteristics of the patient’s prognosis.