The prognostic effect of the number of histologically examined axillary lymph nodes in breast cancer: stage migration or age association?
ABSTRACT The number of pathologically examined axillary nodes has been associated with breast cancer survival, and examination of >or=10 nodes has been advocated for reliable axillary staging. The considerable variation observed in axillary staging prompted this population-based study, which evaluated the prognostic effect of a variable number of pathologically examined nodes.
In total, 5314 consecutive breast cancer patients who underwent mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery and axillary dissection between 1994 and 1999 were included. The prognostic effect of the examined number of nodes was assessed with crude and relative survival analysis.
A median number of 12 (range, 1-43) nodes were histologically examined, and 59% of the patients had no nodal tumor involvement. The number of examined nodes decreased with age (P<.001) and increased with tumor size (P<.001). Stratified for the number of tumor-positive nodes, overall survival seemed to be worse for patients with <10 compared with patients with >or=10 examined nodes (P<.001), whereas the relative survival did not differ. After adjusting for age, tumor size, number of positive nodes, and detection by screening in a multivariate analysis, the number of examined nodes was not associated with relative survival.
This study shows that the association between the number of pathologically examined axillary nodes and overall survival in node-negative and node-positive patients results from stage migration. The absence of an association between the number of examined nodes and relative survival further indicates that the association between the number of examined nodes and crude survival is confounded by age.
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ABSTRACT: Background This study was conducted to assess the prognostic value of the number of negative lymph nodes (NLNs) in breast cancer patients with four or more positive lymph nodes after postmastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT).Methods This retrospective study examined 605 breast cancer patients with four or more positive lymph nodes who underwent mastectomy. A total of 371 patients underwent PMRT. The prognostic value of the NLN count in patients with and without PMRT was analyzed. The log-rank test was used to compare survival curves, and Cox regression analysis was performed to identify prognostic factors.ResultsThe median follow-up was 54 months, and the overall 8-year locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) were 79.8%, 50.0%, 46.8%, and 57.9%, respectively. The optimal cut-off points for NLN count was 12. Univariate analysis showed that the number of NLNs, lymph node ratio (LNR) and pN stage predicted the LRFS of non-PMRT patients (p¿<¿0.05 for all). Multivariate analysis showed that the number of NLNs was an independent prognostic factor affecting the LRFS, patients with a higher number of NLNs had a better LRFS (hazard ratio¿=¿0.132, 95% confidence interval¿=¿0.032-0.547, p =0.005). LNR and pN stage had no effect on LRFS. PMRT improved the LRFS (p¿<¿0.001), DMFS (p¿=¿0.018), DFS (p¿=¿0.001), and OS (p¿=¿0.008) of patients with 12 or fewer NLNs, but it did not any effect on survival of patients with more than 12 NLNs. PMRT improved the regional lymph node recurrence-free survival (p¿<¿0.001) but not the chest wall recurrence-free survival (p¿=¿0.221) in patients with 12 or fewer NLNs.Conclusions The number of NLNs can predict the survival of breast cancer patients with four or more positive lymph nodes after PMRT.Radiation Oncology 12/2014; 9(1):284. · 2.36 Impact Factor
- Journal de Radiologie 11/2009; 90(11):1677-1678. · 0.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: According to tumor-node-metastasis classification, tumor size should be based only on the largest tumor for multifocal and multicentric (MFMC) carcinomas. We estimated tumor size of MFMC carcinoma using either largest dimension of the largest tumor (dominant tumor size) or sum of the largest dimension of all tumors (aggregate tumor size), and compared the risk of axillary lymph node metastasis and prognosis between MFMC and unifocal carcinoma. We retrospectively reviewed the file records of 3,616 patients with MFMC (258 patients, 7.1%) and unifocal (3,358 patients) carcinoma. In T1 and T2 tumor subgroups, using dominant (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001) and aggregate (p = 0.017 and p = 0.004) tumor size axilla-positivity ratio was significantly higher in MFMC carcinoma compared with unifocal carcinoma. In stage I and II disease classified according to either dominant or aggregate tumor size, there was no significant survival difference between MFMC and unifocal carcinoma patients. In patients with stage III disease by dominant and aggregate tumor size disease-free survival was significantly worse in MFMC carcinoma compared with unifocal carcinoma (p = 0.036 and p = 0.041); multifocality and multicentricity had no independent prognostic significance (p = 0.074 and p = 0.079). The risk of axillary metastasis in MFMC carcinoma was higher than unifocal carcinoma, regardless of the method employed for tumor size estimation. MFMC carcinoma staged according to either dominant or aggregate tumor size had similar survival with unifocal carcinoma. We recommend using the largest dimension of the largest tumor in estimation of tumor size for MFMC carcinoma.The Breast Journal 01/2014; 20(1):61-8. · 1.43 Impact Factor