GATA-3 expression in male and female breast cancers: Comparison of clinicopathologic parameters and prognostic relevance

Raul S. Gonzalez, Jason Wang, Teresa Kraus, Harold Sullivan, Amy L. Adams, Cynthia Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Expression of GATA-3 in female breast cancers has been linked to estrogen receptor (ER) expression and, in turn, to improved outcomes. However, GATA-3 has not been studied in male breast cancers. Nineteen male breast carcinomas (average age: 63 years) and 164 female breast carcinomas (average age: 57 years) were immunostained for GATA-3. Results were compared to age, tumor size, tumor grade, lymph node status, distant metastases, survival, and positivity for ER, progesterone receptor (PR), and HER2/neu. Six of 19 (31.6%) male and 135 of 164 (82.3%) female breast carcinomas were GATA-3 positive (P <.001). In women, 82.1% of GATA-3-positive cancers were grade 1 or 2, whereas 75.9% of GATA-3-negative cancers were grade 3 (P <.001); no such significant correlation was seen in men. Unlike female cancers, male cancers showed no correlation between GATA-3 positivity and ER positivity, PR positivity, or distant metastases. Nodal metastasis and HER2 status were not linked to GATA-3 in either sex. Seventeen (89.5%) men were alive at follow-up (average: 61 months); only 1 died of disease. Most women (159/164, 97.0%) were also alive at follow-up (average: 41 months), with a higher proportion of GATA-3-negative women dead than GATA-3-positive women (3/29 [10.3%] vs. 2/135 [1.5%], P =.039). GATA-3 is expressed less often in male than female breast cancers. Male cancers show no correlation between GATA-3 positivity and ER/PR positivity or distant metastases, unlike female cancers. There appears to be no link between GATA-3 positivity and survival in men, whereas in women, GATA-3-positive tumors are typically lower grade with a better prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1065-1070
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • GATA-3
  • Immunopathology
  • Male breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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