Occult breast carcinoma presenting with axillary lymph node metastases: follow-up of eleven patients.
ABSTRACT Breast carcinoma presenting with axillary metastases and no clinically apparent primary tumor in the breast is an uncommon form of stage IIdisease. The methods of diagnosis and treatment of these patients are not established. We present our eleven treated cases of occult carcinoma and discuss the issues of evaluation and management.
Eleven patients with occult breast carcinoma (OBC) presenting between January, 1985 and April, 1998 at the National Shikoku Cancer Center were evaluated clinically and with immunohistochemical staining. Immunohistochemical staining was performed using the Envision method. The primary antibodies for gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 (GCDFP-15), estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) were used.
Nine patients underwent mastectomy. Breast-conserving surgery was performed in one patient. One patient did not receive any operation for the breast. No primary tumor was found among three of nine cases receiving mastectomy. Some adjuvant therapies after the operation were performed in eight cases. Follow-up ranged from 5 to 310 months (median, 54 months), and the five-year disease free survival rate was 62.5%. There were eight GCDFP-15 positive cases (72.7%) and four ER and/or PR positive cases (36.4%).
GCDFP-15 is useful for confirming the primary site of breast carcinoma. Ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging are thought to be good for detecting occult primary tumors. The incidence of OBC is still unclear, but it is possible that these patients need to be treated as typical stage II patients.
Article: Axillary nodal metastases from carcinoma of unknown primary (CUPAx): a systematic review of published evidence.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Axillary lymph node metastases from adeno carcinoma or poorly differentiated carcinoma of unknown primary (CUPAx) represent a rare clinical entity without consensus on its biology, management and outcome. We systematically reviewed published CUPAx series and identified 24 retrospective studies enrolling 689 patients from 1975 till 2006. CUPAx affected women at a mean age of 52 years, 66% of whom post-menopausal harbouring low-volume (N1, 48%) or high-volume (52%) nodal disease from ductal adenocarcinoma (83%). Among a total of 446 patients managed with mastectomy, a small breast primary was identified histologically in 321 (72% of cases). Hormone receptor protein expression was observed in 40-50% of cases, while HER2 overexpression in 31%. CUPAx patients were managed with axillary lymph node dissection coupled to mastectomy (59%), primary breast irradiation (26%) or observation (15%). Observation was associated with high locoregional relapse rates (42%) and risk of metastatic spread. Mastectomy or radiotherapy provided locoregional disease control in 75-85% of cases, while adjuvant systemic therapy was associated with a nonsignificant trend for improved survival in few series. Five-year survival ranged from 59.4 to 88% at a median follow-up of 62 months (mean 5-year survival 72%), with axillary tumour burden being the pivotal prognostic factor. CUPAx is associated with similar presentation, biology and outcome to resected node-positive overt breast cancer and should be treated accordingly.Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 09/2009; 119(1):1-11. · 4.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report the case of a 52-year-old woman with occult breast cancer who presented with a hard metastatic nodule in the left axilla. Although histology identified a metastatic adenocarcinoma in the lymph nodes, numerous tests failed to detect the primary tumor. Immunohistochemistry showed that the resected lymph node was positive for both estrogen and progesterone receptors, suggesting the breast as the site of the primary tumor. Left modified radical mastectomy was performed. Pathology revealed an invasive ductal carcinoma (1.5x1 mm in size) with extensive lymphatic involvement, which strongly expressed both vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) and VEGF-D.The Breast 05/2006; 15(2):259-62. · 2.49 Impact Factor