Background: This study was designed to evaluate the impact of lack of either estrogen receptor (ER) or progesterone receptor (PR) on characteristics and outcomes among luminal A breast cancer subtype treated with endocrine with or without chemotherapeutic agents. Methods: The luminal A subtype was categorized into three subgroups: ER+/PR+, ER+/PR-, and ER-/PR+. All tumors were human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) negative. Clinicopathological features and survival were analyzed using the Severance Hospital dataset (n = 1,180) and were validated by the nationwide Korean Breast Cancer Society (KBCS) registry (n = 9,916). Results: Despite the different distribution of ER/PR status, tumor stage, grade, and local therapies between the two datasets, similarly ER+/PR+ showed smaller size and good differentiation, ER+/PR- patients had the oldest age at diagnosis, and ER-/PR+ was associated with the youngest age at onset and grade III tumor. Single hormone receptor-positive subgroups demonstrated worse disease-related outcomes than the ER+/PR+ subgroup. These associations were confirmed by the KBCS dataset. This trend was also demonstrated in the subpopulation of 1,944 patients with Ki-67 < 14 %. Inferior survival of single receptor-positive tumors was more definite among node-positive patients even when receiving both chemo-endocrine therapies. Conclusions: Current results suggest that the luminal A subtype is also heterogeneous and each subgroup has unique clinicopathologic characteristics. Lack of either ER or PR expression is associated with worse survival, especially among node-positive luminal A subtype.
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