Magee equation 3 (ME3) is predictive of the pathologic complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer but with insufficient predictive performance. This study was designed to improve predictive ability by combining ME3 with additional clinicopathologic markers.
We retrospectively enrolled 460 patients with HR-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer from 2 centers. We obtained baseline characteristics, the ME3 score, and the number of stromal tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (sTILs). After performing a logistic regression analysis, a predictive nomogram was built and validated externally.
ME3 score (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.14 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.10-1.17]; P < .001) and TILs (adjusted OR, 5.21 [95% CI, 3.33-8.14]; P < .001) were independently correlated with pCR. The nomogram (named ME3+) was established using ME3 and sTILs, and it demonstrated an area under the curve of 0.816 and 0.862 in internal and external validation, respectively, outperforming the ME3 score alone. sTILs and ME3 scores were also found to be positively correlated across the entire cohort (P < .001).
The combination of sTILs and ME3 score potentially shows better performance for predicting pCR than ME3 alone. Larger validations are required for widespread application of ME3+ nomogram in NAC settings for HR-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer.

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