Original Article

Prognostic Factors and Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Triple Negative Breast Cancer


  • Özgecan Dülgar
  • Şennur İlvan
  • Zeynep Hande Turna

Received Date: 23.11.2019 Accepted Date: 21.03.2020 Eur J Breast Health 2020;16(4):276-281


Triple-negative-breast-cancer (TNBC) is a very heterogenous disease some of which are very aggressive and have poor prognosis. No targeted therapy is available. Immune response and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) can be related to longer disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in TNBC. Family history of cancer can be related poor prognosis, irrespective of genetic mutation.

Materials and Methods:

Pathology reports and files of 167 patients operated for TNBC were assessed retrospectively. The effects of lymphocyte infiltration, family history of cancer and other tumor characteristics on prognosis were evaluated. Data of 137 patients was included in statistical analysis.


Univariate-analysis revealed that stage, size of tumor, histological subtype, number of infiltrated axillary lymph-nodes, lymphatic and vascular invasion, choice of adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy, family history of cancer has a statistically significant effect on DFS. Increase in density of lymphocyte infiltration of tumor has also better a prognostic effect on DFS (p=0.02). In multivariate-analysis, only tumor size and choice of adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy are found to have statistically significant effect.


Tumor lymphocyte infiltration was found to have a statistically significant better prognostic effect on DFS but not on OS of patients with operated TNBC. This result can be due to variability of therapies administered after recurrence and other confounding factors that may have an effect on OS.

Keywords: Family history, prognosis, triple negative breast cancer, tumor lymphocyte infiltration