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Long-term breast cancer survival in relation to the metastatic tumor burden in axillary lymph nodes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland. Vastmanland Cty Hosp, Dept Surg, S-72189 Vasteras, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland. Vastmanland Cty Hosp, Dept Surg, S-72189 Vasteras, Sweden.
Karolinska Univ Hosp, Dept Breast & Endocrine Surg, Stockholm, Sweden;Karolinska Inst, Dept Mol Med & Surg, Stockholm, Sweden.
Capio St Gorans Hosp, Dept Surg, Stockholm, Sweden;Karolinska Inst, Dept Mol Med & Surg, Stockholm, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, ISSN 0167-6806, E-ISSN 1573-7217, Vol. 171, no 2, p. 359-369Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The clinical significance of lymph node micrometastases and isolated tumor cells (ITCs) in breast cancer is still controversial. After a median follow-up of 52 months, a report from the Swedish Multicenter Cohort Study presented a worse cancer-specific and event-free survival for patients with micrometastases than node-negative individuals, but could not demonstrate a significant difference in overall survival (OS). Due to the tendency of breast cancer to relapse after more than 5-10 years, we now report the long-term survival of the cohort.

Methods: Between September 2000 and January 2004, 3355 breast cancer patients were included in a prospective cohort. Sentinel lymph node biopsy was always performed. Patients were classified in four groups according to their overall nodal stage: node negative (N0, 2372), ITCs (113), micrometastases (123), and macrometastases (747). Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and Cox proportional hazard regression models were applied.

Results: Median follow-up was 156 months. Ten-year cancer-specific survival and OS were significantly lower in case of micrometastases than in N0 (84.7 vs. 93.5%, p = 0.001, and 75.5 vs. 84.2%, p = 0.046, respectively). In case of macrometastases, corresponding survival rates were 82.8 and 74.3%. Only for those aged less than 50 years, cancer-specific survival and OS were significantly worse in case of ITCs than N0. Patients with micrometastases received less often chemotherapy than those with macrometastases (24.4 vs. 53.9%).

Conclusions: Lymph node micrometastases in breast cancer have a prognostic significance. This study demonstrates a similar survival for patients with micrometastases and those with macrometastases, possibly due to systemic undertreatment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 171, no 2, p. 359-369
Keywords [en]
Breast cancer, Sentinel node biopsy, Lymph node status, Micrometastases, Isolated tumor cells, Prognosis
National Category
Cancer and Oncology Surgery
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-363095DOI: 10.1007/s10549-018-4820-0ISI: 000440766500011PubMedID: 29846847OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-363095DiVA, id: diva2:1256347
Funder
The Breast Cancer FoundationSwedish Cancer SocietySwedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF)Available from: 2018-10-16 Created: 2018-10-16 Last updated: 2018-10-16Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, YvetteBergkvist, Leif

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