[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Subtypes defined by hormonal receptor (HR) and HER2 status have not been well studied in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). We characterized clinical parameters and long-term outcomes, and compared pathological complete response (pCR) rates by HR/HER2 subtype in a large IBC patient population. We also compared disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) between IBC patients who received targeted therapies (anti-hormonal, anti-HER2) and those who did not.
We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients diagnosed with IBC and treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center from January 1989 to January 2011. Of those, 527 patients had received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and had available information on estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER2 status. HR status was considered positive if either ER or PR status was positive. Using the Kaplan-Meier method, we estimated median DFS and OS durations from the time of definitive surgery. Using the Cox proportional hazards regression model, we determined the effect of prognostic factors on DFS and OS. Results were compared by subtype.
The overall pCR rate in stage III IBC was 15.2%, with the HR-positive/HER2-negative subtype showing the lowest rate (7.5%) and the HR-negative/HER2-positive subtype, the highest (30.6%). The HR-negative, HER2-negative subtype (triple-negative breast cancer, TNBC) had the worst survival rate. HR-positive disease, irrespective of HER2 status, had poor prognosis that did not differ from that of the HR-negative/HER2-positive subtype with regard to OS or DFS. Achieving pCR, no evidence of vascular invasion, non-TNBC, adjuvant hormonal therapy, and radiotherapy were associated with longer DFS and OS.
Hormone receptor and HER2 molecular subtypes had limited predictive and prognostic power in our IBC population. All molecular subtypes of IBC had a poor prognosis. HR-positive status did not necessarily confer a good prognosis. For all IBC subtypes, novel, specific treatment strategies are needed in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare the time-to progression and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) with and without deleterious BRCA1/2 mutations. 195 women with MBC who were referred for BRCA genetic testing between 1997 and 2011 were included in the study. Logistic regression models and Cox proportional hazards models were fit to determine the associations between clinical variables and outcomes. Of 195 women with MBC, 21 % (n = 41) were positive for BRCA1/2 mutations. The number of metastatic sites at the time of metastatic disease was not different between BRCA1 versus BRCA2 carriers versus non-carriers (P = 0.77). The site of first metastasis was visceral-only in 70 % of BRCA1 carriers compared to 9 % in BRCA2 carriers and 37 % in non-carriers (P = 0.001). Median follow-up was 2.8 years. BRCA non-carriers and BRCA2 carriers had a longer time-to progression and OS compared to BRCA1 carriers (median time-to progression = 1.3 vs. 0.9 vs. 0.7 years; P = 0.31, and median OS = 4.88 vs. 4.94 vs. 1.34 years; P = 0.0065). In a multivariate model, no association was identified between BRCA positivity and time-to-event outcomes (P > 0.28). In addition, patients with triple-negative MBC carried a poorer prognosis irrespective of their BRCA status (P = 0.058 and P = 0.15 for the interaction term of BRCA status and triple-negative for time-to progression and OS, respectively). Our data indicate that BRCA1 carriers diagnosed with MBC have worse outcomes compared to BRCA2 carriers and non-carriers. However, the differences in outcome did not reach statistical significance likely due to small sample sizes.
Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 02/2013; · 3.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The clinicopathological characteristics and the prognostic significance of multifocal (MF) and multicentric (MC) breast cancers are not well established.Patients and MethodsMF and MC were defined as more than one lesion in the same quadrant or in separate quadrants, respectively. The Kaplan-Meier product limit was used to calculate recurrence-free survival (RFS), breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS), and overall survival (OS). Cox proportional hazards models were fit to determine independent associations of MF/MC disease with survival outcomes.ResultsOf 3924 patients, 942 (24%) had MF (n = 695) or MC (n = 247) disease. MF/MC disease was associated with higher T stages (T2: 26% versus 21.6%; T3: 7.4% versus 2.3%, P < 0.001), grade 3 disease (44% versus 38.2%, P < 0.001), lymphovascular invasion (26.2% versus 19.3%, P < 0.001), and lymph node metastases (43.1% versus 27.3%, P < 0.001). MC, but not MF, breast cancers were associated with a worse 5-year RFS (90% versus 95%, P = 0.02) and BCSS (95% versus 97%, P = 0.01). Multivariate analysis shows that MF or MC did not have an independent impact on RFS, BCSS, or OS.ConclusionsMF/MC breast cancers were associated with poor prognostic factors, but were not independent predictors of worse survival outcomes. Our findings support the current TNM staging system of using the diameter of the largest lesion to assign T stage.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are associated with inferior prognosis in metastatic breast cancer (MBC). We hypothesized that the relationship between CTCs and disease subtype would provide a better understanding of the clinical and biologic behavior of MBC.
We retrospectively analyzed 517 MBC patients treated at a single institution. Subtypes of primary tumors were analyzed by immunohistochemical (IHC) or fluorescent in situ hybridization analyses and CTCs were enumerated by CellSearch(®) at starting a new therapy. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival durations for each IHC subtype were determined.
At a median follow-up of 24.6 months, 276 of 517 (53%) patients had died. The median OS for patients with <5 and ≥ 5 CTCs were 32.4 and 18.3 months, respectively (P < 0.001). Except in HER2+ patients, the prognostic value of CTCs was independent of disease subtype and disease site.
In this large retrospective study, CTCs were strongly predictive of survival in all MBC subtypes except HER2+ patients who had been treated with targeted therapy. Our results clearly demonstrate the value of enumerating CTCs in MBC and strongly suggest an interesting biological implication in the HER2+ subset of patients that need to be further explored.
Annals of Oncology 09/2011; 23(5):1144-50. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this retrospective study was to determine factors impacting survival among women with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).
The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Registry (SEER) was searched to identify women with stage III/IV IBC diagnosed between 2004 and 2007. IBC was identified within SEER as T4d disease as defined by the sixth edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer. The Kaplan-Meier product-limit method was used to describe inflammatory breast cancer-specific survival (IBCS). Cox models were fitted to assess the multivariable relationship of various patient and tumor characteristics and IBCS.
Two thousand three hundred and eighty-four women with stage IIIB/C and IV IBC were identified. Two-year IBCS among women with stage IIIB, IIIC and IV disease was 81%, 67% and 42%, respectively (P < 0.0001). In the multivariable model, patients with stage IIIB disease and those with stage IIIC disease had a 63% [hazard ratio (HR) 0.373, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.296-0.470, P < 0.001] and 31% (HR 0.691, 95% CI 0.512-0.933, P = 0.016) decreased risk of death from IBC, respectively, compared with women with stage IV disease. Other factors significantly associated with decreased risk of death from IBC included low-grade tumors, being of white/other race, undergoing surgery, receiving radiation therapy and hormone receptor-positive disease. Among women with stage IV disease, those who underwent surgery of their primary had a 51% decreased risk of death compared with those who did not undergo surgery (HR = 0.489, 95% CI 0.339-0.704, P < 0.0001).
Although IBC is an aggressive subtype of locally advanced breast cancer, it is heterogeneous with various factors affecting survival. Furthermore, our results indicate that a subgroup of women with stage IV IBC may benefit from aggressive combined modality management.
Annals of Oncology 07/2011; 23(4):870-5. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 (mda-7) is a known mediator of apoptosis in cancer cells but not in normal cells. We hypothesized that MDA-7 interferes with the prosurvival signaling pathways that are commonly altered in cancer cells to induce growth arrest and apoptosis. We also identified the cell signaling pathways that are antagonized by MDA-7 leading to apoptosis. Using an adenoviral expression system, mda-7 was introduced into the breast cancer cell lines SKBr3, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-468, each with a different estrogen receptor (ER) and HER-2 receptor status. Downstream targets of MDA-7 were assessed by reverse phase protein array analysis, western blot analysis and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. Our results show that MDA-7-induced apoptosis was mediated by caspases in all cell lines tested. However, MDA-7 modulates additional pathways in SKBr3 (HER-2 positive) and MCF-7 (ER positive) cells including downregulation of AKT-GSK3β and upregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in the nucleus. This leads to cell cycle arrest in addition to apoptosis. In conclusion, MDA-7 abrogates tumor-promoting pathways including the activation of caspase-dependent signaling pathways ultimately leading to apoptosis. In addition, depending on the phenotype of the breast cancer cell, MDA-7 modulates cell cycle regulating pathways to mediate cell cycle arrest.
Cancer gene therapy 07/2011; 18(7):510-9. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The detection of CTCs prior to and during therapy is an independent and strong prognostic marker, and it is predictive of poor treatment outcome. A major challenge is that different technologies are available for isolation and characterization of CTCs in peripheral blood (PB). We compare the CellSearch system and AdnaTest BreastCancer Select/Detect, to evaluate the extent that these assays differ in their ability to detect CTCs in the PB of MBC patients. CTCs in 7.5 ml of PB were isolated and enumerated using the CellSearch, before new treatment. Two cutoff values of ≥2 and ≥5 CTCs/7.5 ml were used. AdnaTest requires 5 ml of PB to detect gene transcripts of tumor markers (GA733-2, MUC-1, and HER2) by RT-PCR. AdnaTest was scored positive if ≥1 of the transcript PCR products for the 3 markers were detected at a concentration ≥0.15 ng/μl. A total of 55 MBC patients were enrolled. 26 (47%) patients were positive for CTCs by the CellSearch (≥2 cutoff), while 20 (36%) were positive (≥5 cutoff). AdnaTest was positive in 29 (53%) with the individual markers being positive in 18% (GA733-2), 44% (MUC-1), and 35% (HER2). Overall positive agreement was 73% for CTC≥2 and 69% for CTC≥5. These preliminary data suggest that the AdnaTest has equivalent sensitivity to that of the CellSearch system in detecting 2 or more CTCs. While there is concordance between these 2 methods, the AdnaTest complements the CellSearch system by improving the overall CTC detection rate and permitting the assessment of genomic markers in CTCs.
International Journal of Cancer 04/2011; 130(7):1590-7. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metaplastic sarcomatoid carcinoma (MSC) of the breast is usually triple receptor (ER, PR, and HER2) negative and is not currently recognized as being more aggressive than other triple receptor-negative breast cancers. We reviewed archival tissue sections from surgical resection specimens of 47 patients with MSC of the breast and evaluated the association between various clinicopathologic features and patient survival. We also evaluated the clinical outcome of MSC patients compared to a control group of patients with triple receptor-negative invasive breast carcinoma matched for patient age, clinical stage, tumor grade, treatment with chemotherapy, and treatment with radiation therapy. Factors independently associated with decreased disease-free survival among patients with stage I-III MSC of the breast were patient age > 50 years (P = 0.029) and the presence of nodal macrometastases (P = 0.003). In early-stage (stage I-II) MSC, decreased disease-free survival was observed for patients with a sarcomatoid component comprising ≥ 95% of the tumor (P = 0.032), but tumor size was the only independent adverse prognostic factor in early-stage patients (P = 0.043). Compared to a control group of triple receptor-negative patients, patients with stage I-III MSC had decreased disease-free survival (two-sided log rank, P = 0.018). Five-year disease-free survival was 44 ± 8% versus 74 ± 7% for patients with MSC versus triple receptor-negative breast cancer, respectively. We conclude that MSC of the breast appears more aggressive than other triple receptor-negative breast cancers.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 02/2011; 131(1):41-8. · 4.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the proposed mechanisms of trastuzumab-induced regression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) tumours includes facilitation of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) mediates ADCC. We presented our pilot study of adding GM-CSF to trastuzumab in patients with trastuzumab-resistant HER2+ metastatic breast cancer.
Patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer that progressed after trastuzumab +/- chemotherapy were continued on trastuzumab 2 mg kg(-1) intravenous weekly and GM-CSF 250 μg m(-2) subcutaneous daily. Patients were assessed for response every 8 weeks. Treatment was continued until disease progression or intolerable toxicity.
Seventeen patients were evaluable (median age 48 years, range 27-75 years). The median number of metastatic sites was 2 (range 1-3); the most common site was the liver (n=10). The median number of prior regimens for metastatic disease was 2 (range 1-5). No objective disease response was observed, but five patients (29%) had stable disease for a median duration of 15.8 (range 10-53.9) weeks. The most common adverse event was rash at the injection site. No grade 4 or irreversible adverse event was seen.
The addition of GM-CSF to trastuzumab alone had a modest clinical benefit and acceptable safety profile in heavily pretreated patients with trastuzumab-resistant HER2+ metastatic breast cancer.
British Journal of Cancer 09/2010; 103(9):1331-4. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of and survival following brain metastases among women with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).
Two hundred and three women with newly diagnosed stage III/IV IBC diagnosed from 2003 to 2008, with known Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and hormone receptor status, were identified. Cumulative incidence of brain metastases was computed. Survival estimates were computed using the Kaplan-Meier product limit method. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were fitted to explore the relationship between breast tumor subtype and time to brain metastases.
Median follow-up was 20 months. Thirty-two (15.8%) patients developed brain metastases with a cumulative incidence at 1 and 2 years of 2.7% and 18.7%, respectively. Eleven (5.3%) patients developed brain metastases as the first site of recurrence with cumulative incidence at 1 and 2 years of 1.6% and 5.7%, respectively. Compared with women with triple receptor-negative IBC, those with hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative disease [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19-1.51, P = 0.24] had a decreased risk of developing brain metastases, and those with HER2-positive disease (HR = 1.02, 95% CI 0.43-2.40, P = 0.97) had an increased risk of developing brain metastases, although these associations were not statistically significant. Median survival following a diagnosis of brain metastases was 6 months.
Women with newly diagnosed IBC have a high early incidence of brain metastases associated with poor survival and may be an ideal cohort to target for site-specific screening.
Annals of Oncology 05/2010; 21(12):2348-55. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE). Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are an independent predictor of survival in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that CTCs are associated with the risk of VTE in MBC patients.
This retrospective study included 290 MBC patients treated in the MD Anderson Cancer Center from January 2004 to December 2007. Circulating tumour cells were detected and enumerated using the CellSearch system before starting new lines of therapy.
At a median follow-up of 12.5 months, 25 patients experienced VTE and 53 patients died without experiencing thrombosis. Cumulative incidence of thrombosis at 12 months was 8.5% (95% confidence interval (CI)=5.5%, 12.4%). Patients with CTCs > or = 1 and > or = 5 had a higher incidence of VTE compared with patients with 0 and <5 CTCs (12-month estimate, 11.7 and 11.6% vs 3 and 6.6%; P=0.006 and P=0.076, respectively). In the multivariate model, patients with CTCs > or = 1 had a hazard ratio of VTE of 5.29 (95% CI=1.58, 17.7, P=0.007) compared with patients with no CTCs.
These results suggest that CTCs in MBC patients are associated with increased risk of VTE. These patients should be followed up more closely for the risk of VTE.
British Journal of Cancer 11/2009; 101(11):1813-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated the relationship between the detection and prognostic significance of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and sites of metastases detected by 2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
From May 2004 to January 2008, 195 patients with relapsed/progressive MBC underwent whole-body FDG-PET/CT and provided blood samples for assessment of CTC count.
Higher CTC numbers were detected in patients with bone metastases relative to those with no bone lesions (mean 65.7 versus 3.3, P = 0.0122) and in patients with multiple bone metastases relative to those with one or two bone lesions (mean 77.7 versus 2.6, P < 0.001). CTCs predicted overall survival (OS) in 108 patients with multiple sites of metastases including bone (P = 0.0008) but not in 58 without bone metastases (P = 0.4111) and in 29 with bone involvement only (P = 0.3552). All 15 patients but one with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) positive tumors who were treated with trastuzumab-based regimens had <5 CTCs at progression. In multivariate analysis, CTCs, but not bone metastases, remained a significant predictor of OS.
Presence of extensive bone metastases as detected by FDG-PET/CT is associated with increased CTC numbers in MBC.
Annals of Oncology 07/2009; 21(1):33-9. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the most aggressive form of breast cancer. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are an independent prognostic factor in metastatic breast cancer. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of baseline CTCs in metastatic IBC patients.
This retrospective study included 42 metastatic IBC and 107 metastatic non-IBC patients treated with first- or second-line chemotherapy from January 2004 to December 2007 at MD Anderson Cancer Center. CTCs were detected and enumerated before patients started chemotherapy using the CellSearch system.
Ten (23.8%) IBC patients versus 48 (44.9%) non-IBC patients had baseline CTCs > or =5 per 7.5 ml of peripheral blood. IBC patients had a lower mean +/- SEM CTCs than non-IBC patients (7.6 +/- 2.9 versus 34.2 +/- 9.1; P = 0.02). The estimated median overall survival was 26.5 versus 18.3 months (P = 0.68) in IBC patients and 37.4 versus 18.3 months (P = 0.016) in non-IBC patients with CTCs <5 and CTCs > or =5, respectively.
Metastatic IBC patients had a lower prevalence and fewer CTCs in comparison to metastatic non-IBC patients. Survival of metastatic IBC patients with <5 CTCs was not significantly better than that of patients with > or =5 CTCs. Further research is warranted with prospective assessment of CTCs in IBC patients and their biological characterization.
Annals of Oncology 06/2009; 20(11):1824-8. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A case of paclitaxel-induced painful crisis in a patient with breast cancer and hemoglobin sickle cell disease (SCD) is reported.
A 55-year-old postmenopausal African-American woman had stage IIB invasive ductal carcinoma of the left breast. She was not taking any medications and did not report a history of cancer or other diseases. She had mild microcytic anemia, but the rest of her blood counts and liver function test values were normal. Bone scans and computed tomography scans of her chest and abdomen did not reveal any metastatic disease. She underwent a routine left segmental mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection that revealed a 4-cm invasive cancer with 1 of 10 axillary lymph nodes positive for metastatic disease. Her treatment plan included chemotherapy with weekly paclitaxel, followed by fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide and radiation. The first cycle of paclitaxel was well tolerated until one week after initiation when the patient woke up in the middle of the night with a sudden onset of excruciating back pain and muscle spasms. Other symptoms that developed included fatigue, left-sided rib pain, and shortness of breath. The patient recalled being told that she had sickle cell trait but said that she never had a sickle cell crisis. Laboratory tests during her 13-day hospitalization revealed hemolysis. The patient was diagnosed with hemoglobin SCD and later discharged with as-needed, low-dose oxycodone and baclofen, antibiotics, and folic acid.
A patient with breast cancer and SCD had a painful crisis after receiving paclitaxel as part of her chemotherapy regimen.
American journal of health-system pharmacy: AJHP: official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 08/2008; 65(14):1333-6. · 2.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment options are limited for patients with refractory metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Larotaxel (XRP9881) is a novel taxoid with preclinical activity against taxane-resistant breast cancer. The current phase II trial of larotaxel was conducted in women with taxane-treated MBC.
Patients were stratified by response to prior taxane therapy (resistant or nonresistant). Larotaxel 90 mg/m(2) was administered as a 1-h infusion every 3 weeks. Patients were evaluated for tumor response every two cycles. A blinded external response review committee determined the overall response rate (ORR), duration of response (DOR), and time to progression (TtP) of the disease. Median survival time (MST) and safety were also evaluated.
One hundred and thirty patients were treated. In the nonresistant group, the ORR was 42%; median DOR 5.3 months; median TtP 5.4 months; and MST 22.6 months. In the resistant group, the ORR was 19%; median DOR 5.0 months; median TtP 1.6 months; and MST 9.8 months. The most common grade 3/4 adverse events were neutropenia (82%), fatigue (15%), diarrhea (12%), febrile neutropenia (9%), neutropenic infection (8%), and sensory neuropathy (7%).
Larotaxel has good activity, manageable toxicity, and a favorable therapeutic index in women with taxane-pretreated MBC.
Annals of Oncology 08/2008; 19(7):1255-60. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Novel molecular therapies for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) are necessary to improve the dismal prognosis of this condition. Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) inhibits several protein tyrosine kinases, including platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and c-kit, which are preferentially expressed in tumor cells. We tested the activity of imatinib mesylate in MBC with overexpression of PDGFR or c-kit. Additionally, we sought to determine the biological correlates and immunomodulatory effects.
Thirteen patients were treated with Imatinib administered orally at 400 mg p.o. b.i.d. (800 mg/day), until disease progression. All patients demonstrated PDGFR-beta overexpression and none showed c-kit expression.
No objective responses were observed among the 13 patients treated in an intention-to-treat analysis. All patients experienced disease progression, with a median time to progression of 1.2 months. Twelve patients have died, and the median overall survival was 7.7 months. No patient had a serious adverse event. Imatinib therapy had no effect on the plasma levels of the angiogenesis-related cytokines, vascular endothelial growth factor, PDGF, b-fibroblast growth factor, and E-selectin. Immune studies showed imatinib inhibits interferon-gamma production by TCR-activated CD4(+) T cells.
Imatinib as a single agent has no clinical activity in PDGFR-overexpressing MBC and has potential immunosuppressive effects.
Annals of Oncology 06/2008; 19(10):1713-9. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to determine whether the number of lymph nodes removed at axillary dissection is associated with recurrence and survival in node-negative breast cancer (NNBC) patients.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 1606 women with pathologically node-negative T1-T3 invasive breast cancer. Median follow-up was 61 months (range 2-251). Potential prognostic factors assessed included: number of axillary lymph nodes examined, age, menopausal status, tumor size, histological type, tumor grade, estrogen receptor(ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2.
At 5 years, relapse-free survival (RFS) rate was 85% and breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) rate was 94%. In univariate analysis, factors significantly associated with lower RFS and BCSS were: fewer than six lymph nodes examined (RFS, P = 0.01; BCSS, P = 0.007), tumor size >2 cm, grade III, negative ER or PR. Statistically significant factors for lower RFS and BCSS in multivariate analysis were: fewer than six lymph nodes examined [RFS, hazard ratio (HR) 1.36, P = 0.029; BCSS, HR 1.87, P = 0.005], tumor size >2 cm, tumor grade III and negative PR.
Examination of fewer than six lymph nodes is an adverse prognostic factor in NNBC because it could lead to understaging. Six or more nodes need to be examined at axillary dissection to be confident of a node-negative status. This may be useful, in conjunction with other prognostic factors, in the assessment of NNBC patients for adjuvant systemic therapy.
Annals of Oncology 11/2006; 17(11):1644-9. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carcinosarcoma of the breast is rare and accounts for less than 0.1% of all breast malignancies. Carcinosarcomas have traditionally been distinguished from other forms of metaplastic breast carcinoma because they are aggressive and have an ominous prognosis. Metaplastic tumors that show both carcinomatous and sarcomatous features occur in various anatomical sites and, in spite of differences in terminology and exact microscopic composition, evidence suggests these all are similar tumors that develop through a peculiar phenotypic transformation of carcinoma cells into sarcoma. In the breast, the most popular theories regarding the histogenesis of the sarcomatous component of carcinosarcomas and sarcomatoid carcinomas propose the malignant transformation of myoepithelial cells or myofibroblastic metaplasia of malignant epithelial cells. In this chapter, we review the limited published clinical experience with carcinosarcomas of the breast and make therapy recommendations on the basis of available data. In addition, we explore some potentially targetable molecular mechanisms that need to be further explored for their potential to improve the outcomes of patients with these aggressive tumors.