Lymph Node Ratio as an Alternative to pN Staging in Node-Positive Breast Cancer
ABSTRACT In the current pTNM classification system, nodal status of breast cancer is based on the number of involved lymph nodes and does not account for the total number of lymph nodes removed. In this study, we assessed the prognostic value of the lymph node ratio (LNR; ie, ratio of positive over excised lymph nodes) as compared with pN staging and determined its optimal cutoff points.
From the Geneva Cancer Registry, we identified all women diagnosed with node-positive breast cancer between 1980 and 2004 (n = 1,829). The prognostic value of LNRs was calculated for values ranging from 0.05 to 0.95 by Cox regression analysis and validated by bootstrapping. Based on maximum likelihood, we identified cutoff points classifying women into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk LNR groups.
Optimal cutoff points classified patients into low- (< or = 0.20), intermediate- (> 0.20 and < or = 0.65), and high-risk (> 0.65) LNR groups, corresponding to 10-year disease-specific survival rates of 75%, 63%, and 40%, and adjusted mortality risks of 1 (reference), 1.78 (95% CI, 1.46 to 2.18), and 3.21 (95% CI, 2.54 to 4.06), respectively. In contrast to LNR risk categories, survival curves of pN2 and pN3 crossed after 15 years, and their adjusted mortality risks showed overlapping CIs: 2.07 (95% CI, 1.69 to 2.53) and 2.84 (95% CI, 2.23 to 3.61), respectively.
LNR predicts survival after breast cancer more accurately than pN classification and should be considered as an alternative to pN staging.
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ABSTRACT: Background: To test the hypotheses that breast cancer patients with one to three positive lymph nodes (pN1) consist of heterogeneous prognostic subsets and that the ratio of positive nodes to total nodes dissected (lymph node ratio, LNR) might discriminate patients with a higher risk as candidates for post-mastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT). Methods: Using information from 7741 node-positive patients, we first identified cutoff values of the LNR using the nonparametric bootstrap method. Focusing on 3477 patients with pN1 disease, we then evaluated the clinical relevance of the LNR categorised by the estimated cutoff values (categorised LNR, cLNR). Results: Among 3477 patients with pN1 disease, 3059 and 418 patients were assigned into the low and intermediate cLNR groups, respectively, based on a cutoff value of 0.18. The prognostic factors associated with poor overall survival (OS) included younger age, T2 stage, negative oestrogen/progesterone receptors, high histologic grade, and intermediate cLNR. Post-mastectomy radiation therapy significantly increased OS in patients assigned to the intermediate cLNR (hazard ratio, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.17–0.89; P=0.0248), whereas patients in the low cLNR group derived no additional survival benefit from PMRT. Conclusion: This study suggests that PMRT should be recommended for patients with pN1 disease and an intermediate cLNR.British Journal of Cancer 08/2013; 109(5). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2013.465 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Breast cancer in Egypt is the most common cancer among women and is the leading cause of cancer mortality. Traditionally, axillary lymph node involvement is considered among the most important prognostic factors in breast cancer. Nonetheless, accumulating evidence suggests that axillary lymph node ratio should be considered as an alternative to classical pN classification. Materials and methods We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with operable node-positive breast cancer, to investigate the prognostic significance of axillary lymph node ratio. Results Five-hundred patients were considered eligible for the analysis. Median follow-up was 35 months (95% CI 32–37 months), the median disease-free survival (DFS) was 49 months (95% CI, 46.4–52.2 months). The classification of patients based on pN staging system failed to prognosticate DFS in the multivariate analysis. Conversely, grade 3 tumors, and the intermediate (>0.20 to ⩽0.65) and high (>0.65) LNR were the only variables that were independently associated with adverse DFS. The overall survival (OS) in this series was 69 months (95% CI 60–77). Conclusion The analysis of outcome of patients with early breast cancer in Egypt identified the adverse prognostic effects of high tumor grade, ER negativity and intermediate and high LNR on DFS. If the utility of the LNR is validated in other studies, it may replace the use of absolute number of axillary lymph nodes.Journal of the Egyptian National Cancer Institute 01/2013; 26(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jnci.2013.10.001
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ABSTRACT: The number of positive axillary lymph nodes (LNs) is the only node-related factor for prognostic evaluation of breast cancer recognized by AJCC (TNM staging). However, N staging may not completely reflect LN tumor involvement due to the erroneous count of LNs in the presence of matted LNs and different tumor volume in LNs. Additionally, the positive/total LN ratio (LNR) has been shown to outperform N staging in survival prediction. In our study, to better quantify the tumor involvement of axillary LNs, we measured the cross-sectional cancer area (CSCA) of the positive LNs in 292 breast cancer patients diagnosed between 1998 and 2000 in our institution and compared its prognostic value to that of number of positive LNs (metLN)/N stage and LNR. Statistical analyses of these three LN-related factors were performed by Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate Cox's regression model. Patients were divided into three groups based on the different LN CSCA (<50, 50-500, and >500 mm(2)), or LNR (<0.1, 0.1-0.65, and >0.65), or N stage (N1-N3). Multivariate analysis demonstrated LNR was the most significant LN-related survival predictor with hazard ratio (HR) 25.0 (P = 0.001), compared to the metLN (HR 0.09, P = 0.052) and CSCA (HR 2.24, P = 0.323).10/2012; 2012:161964. DOI:10.1155/2012/161964