© 2015 Elsevier GmbH. Prognostic factors are well established in early-stage breast cancer (BC), but less well-defined in advanced disease. We analyzed 323 BC patients who had distant relapse during follow-up from 1997 to 2010 to determine the significant clinicopathologic factors predicting survival outcomes. By univariate analysis, race, tumor grade, estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER/PR) and HER2 status were significantly associated with overall survival (OS) and post-metastasis survival (PMS). Applying a Cox regression model revealed that all these factors remained significant for PMS, while race, tumor grade and HER2 were independent factors for OS. Tumor grade was the only significant factor for metastasis-free survival by univariate and multivariate analyses. Our findings demonstrated that being Caucasian, hormonal receptor positive (HR+) and HER2 positive (HER2+) were all associated with a decreased hazard of death and that patients with HR+/HER2+ tumors had superior outcomes to those with HR+/HER2- disease. Further, PR status held a prognostic value over ER, thus reflecting the biologic mechanism of the importance of the functional ER pathway and the heterogeneity in the response to endocrine therapy. These observations indicate that the patients' genetic makeup and the intrinsic nature of the tumor principally govern BC progression and prognosticate the long-term outcomes in advanced disease.