“Using these markers, available in most Pathological Anatomy services”, explained Ms Arrechea, “we have been able to mark off the subgroups with the worst prognosis and which, at the same time, enables the designing of personalised treatment in order to gain maximum benefit with the minimum possible risk”.
Breast carcinomas form part of a heterogeneous group of tumours, both in their clinical and prognostic behaviour. In her research, doctor Arrechea used immunohistochemical markers, “that provide a better prognostic definition than the classical histological classification, enabling a better prognosis of the progress of the illness”. With these markers she classified 272 patients diagnosed with breast cancer at the Hospital of Navarre into five subtypes. Subsequently, classical and immunohistochemical criteria were analysed as were survival and relapse pattern amongst the various subtypes.
Based on these results it was found that two of the subtypes (basal subtypes and HER2 positive subtypes) present more unfavourable characteristics, as well as worse survival and relapse times, while luminal type carcinomas showed more benign characteristics and better prognosis.
The PhD, “Molecular subtypes of breast cancer: prognostic implications and clinical and immunohistochemical characteristics” was led by Francisco Guillén Grima, Professor of the Department o Health Sciences at the Public University of Navarre and Francisco Vicente García, Head of the Mammary Surgery Clinical Unit at the Navarre Hospital Complex, was awarded summa cum laude.