To determine whether any histological trait was associated with regional and/or systemic spread of occult tumour cells (OTCs) in small size invasive breast cancer, we compared tumour characteristics, axillary sentinel lymph node (SN) and bone marrow (BM) status in a series of 287 pT1T2 cases. Surgery was the first step of treatment, associated with SN procedure and with BM aspiration for the detection of OTC. SN was histologically classified as negative, metastatic (>2mm), micro-metastatic (>0.2mm and 2mm) or involved by OTC detected by immunohistochemistry (Ni+, 0.2mm). BM specimens were analysed after immunocytochemistry and classified as negative or positive with atypical cytokeratin-positive OTC. Metastasis and micro-metastasis in the SN were correlated with size, grade and vascular invasion. In contrast, presence of OTC in both SN and BM was independent of these parameters but positively associated with lobular type. This correlation was also observed for BM status, which was similarly independent of the tumour characteristics. No association was found between SN status and BM status. Our data indicate that, in the course of breast cancer, OTC spreading is frequent and could be an early event, related to lobular histological type but independent of classical histoprognostic parameters, and that the loco-regional metastatic spread of OTC is not a prerequisite for systemic involvement.
"This analysis showed that the frequency of bona fide isolated carcinoma cells was lower than in previous reports; however, such cells are detected in patients with low grade tumors of less than 2 cm . It is noteworthy that sentinel lymph node micrometastases (between 0.2 and 2 mm) is not correlated with bone marrow micrometastases (single cells) . These studies provide additional evidence for very early dissemination of isolated tumor cells in the bone marrow , and this mechanism operates independently of lymphatic dissemination. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity in breast carcinoma encompasses the phenotypic spectrum whereby epithelial carcinoma cells within a primary tumor acquire mesenchymal features and re-epithelialize to form a cohesive secondary mass at a metastatic site. Such plasticity has implications in progression of breast carcinoma to metastasis, and will likely influence response to therapy. The transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of molecular and cellular processes that underlie breast cancer and result in characteristic changes in cell behavior can be monitored using an increasing array of marker proteins. Amongst these markers exists the potential for emergent prognostic, predictive and therapeutic targeting.
Breast cancer research: BCR 11/2009; 11(6):213. DOI:10.1186/bcr2416 · 5.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The number of positive axillary nodes is a strong prognostic factor in breast cancer, but is affected by variability in nodal staging technique yielding varying numbers of excised nodes. The nodal ratio of positive to excised nodes is an alternative that could address this variability. Our 2006 review found that the nodal ratio consistently outperformed the number of positive nodes, providing strong arguments for the use of nodal ratios in breast cancer staging and management. New evidence has continued to accrue confirming the prognostic significance of nodal ratios in various worldwide population settings. This review provides an updated summary of available data, and discusses the potential application of the nodal ratio to breast cancer staging and prognostication, its role in the context of modern surgical techniques such as sentinel node biopsy, and its potential correlations with new biologic markers such as circulating tumor cells and breast cancer stem cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isolated tumor cells (ITC) are more common in the sentinel node (SN) after needle biopsy of a breast cancer, indicating iatrogenic displacement of tumor cells. We here investigate whether similar iatrogenic displacement occurs after surgical excision of a breast tumor. We compared the incidence of ITC in the SN of 414 breast cancer patients with recent surgical excision to a group of 16,960 patients without recent surgical procedure in a multivariate analysis by linking data from the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group database and the Danish National Health Register. Moreover, the incidence of spread to non-SNs in patients with ITC in the SN after recent surgical excision was analyzed. We found an adjusted odds ratio on 3.73 (95% CI 2.57-5.43; P < 0.0001) for having ITC in the SN after surgical excision. The increase in ITC after surgical excision was especially seen in patients with ductal carcinomas (OR 4.66; 95% CI 3.03-7.19). None of the patients with ITC in SN after surgical excision had further spread to non-SNs compared to 12% in the group without recent surgical excision (P = 0.09). The nearly fourfold increase in ITC in the SN after surgical excision indicates that this procedure induces iatrogenic displacement of tumor cells. This displacement was more common in ductal carcinomas. We found no further dissemination to non-SNs in patients with ITC in the SN after recent surgical excision, and it is questioned whether these patients benefit from an axillary lymph node dissection.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 08/2011; 131(1):223-9. DOI:10.1007/s10549-011-1720-y · 3.94 Impact Factor
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