Comparison of Receptor-Defined Breast Cancer Subtypes Between German and Sudanese Women: A Facility-Based Cohort Study

Asmerom Tesfamariam Sengal*, Nada Suliman Haj Mukhtar, Martina Vetter, Ahmed Mohammed Elhaj, Shahinaz Bedri, Steffen Hauptmann, Christoph Thomssen, Ahmed Abdalla Mohamedani, Claudia Wickenhauser, Eva Johanna Kantelhardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose The objective of this study was to compare tumor characteristics, biomarkers, and surrogate subtypes of breast cancer between Sudanese and German women.

Methods Tumor characteristics and immunohistochemistry markers (estrogen receptor [ER], progesterone receptor [PR], and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2]) were collected from the routine assessment of consecutive patients with invasive breast cancer diagnosed from 2010 to 2015 (Gezira University Pathology Laboratory, Gezira, Sudan) and from 1999 to 2013 (Breast Centre, Martin-Luther-University, Halle, Germany).

Results A total of 2,492 patients (German [n = 1,932] and Sudanese [n = 560]) were included. Age at diagnosis ranged from 20 to 94 years. Sudanese women were, on average, 10 years younger than German women, with a mean ( standard deviation) age of 48.8 (13.5) and 58.6 (12.4) years, respectively. The Sudanese women had a higher grade, larger tumor, and more lymph node positivity compared with German women. ER-, PR-, and HER2-negative proportions were 55%, 61.8%, and 71.3%, respectively, for Sudanese women versus 22.7%, 32.3%, and 82.5%, respectively, for German women. The triple-negative subtype was more prevalent in Sudanese women (34.5%) than in German women (14.2%). The strongest factor associated with ER-negative disease was grade III (odds ratio, 19.6; 95% CI 11.6 to 33.4; P <.001). Sudanese patients were at higher risk for ER-negative breast cancer, with an odds ratio of 2.01 (P = .001; adjusted for age, size, nodal status, histologic type, and grade). Stratified by grade, the influence of origin was observed in grade I and grade II tumors, but not in grade III tumors.

Conclusion Sudanese women had more aggressive tumor characteristics and unfavorable prognostic biomarkers. After adjustment, Sudanese origin was still associated with hormone receptor-negative disease, especially in grade I and II tumors. These findings suggest differences in tumor biology among these ethnic groups. (C) 2017 by American Society of Clinical Oncology

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of global oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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