Monica Morrow

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, United States

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Publications (247)2058.36 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation is recognized as a risk factor for the development of several malignancies. Local white adipose tissue (WAT) inflammation, defined by the presence of dead or dying adipocytes encircled by macrophages which form crown-like structures (CLS), occurs in the breasts (CLS-B) of most overweight and obese women. Previously, we showed that the presence of CLS-B is associated with elevated tissue levels of proinflammatory mediators and aromatase, the rate-limiting enzyme for estrogen biosynthesis. The associated increased levels of aromatase in the breast provide a plausible mechanistic link between WAT inflammation and estrogen-dependent breast cancers. Thus, breast WAT inflammation could be relevant for explaining the high incidence of estrogen-dependent tumors with aging despite diminished circulating estrogen levels after menopause. To explore this possibility, we determined whether menopause in addition to body mass index (BMI) is associated with breast WAT inflammation among 237 prospectively enrolled women. The presence of CLS-B and its severity (CLS-B/cm2) as indicators of WAT inflammation correlated with menopausal status (P=0.008 and P<0.001) and BMI (P<0.001 for both). In multivariable analyses adjusted for BMI, the postmenopausal state was independently associated with the presence (P=0.03) and severity of breast WAT inflammation (P=0.01). Mean adipocyte size increased in association with CLS-B (P<0.001). Our findings demonstrate that breast WAT inflammation, which is associated with elevated aromatase levels, is increased in association with the postmenopausal state independent of BMI. Breast WAT inflammation, a process that can potentially be targeted, may help to explain the high incidence of estrogen-dependent tumors in postmenopausal women. Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.
    Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.). 02/2015;
  • Monica Morrow, Stuart J Schnitt, Larry Norton
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    ABSTRACT: High-risk breast lesions, which comprise benign lesions and in situ carcinomas (lobular carcinoma in situ and ductal carcinoma in situ), are clinically, morphologically, and biologically heterogeneous and are associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer development, albeit to varying degrees. Recognition and proactive management of such lesions can help to prevent progression to invasive disease, and might, therefore, reduce breast cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality. However, this opportunity comes with the possibility of overdiagnosis and overtreatment, necessitating risk-based intervention. Notably, despite the progress in defining the molecular changes associated with carcinogenesis, alterations identifying the individuals with high-risk lesions that will progress to invasive carcinoma remain to be identified. Thus, until reproducible clinicopathological or molecular features predicting an individual's risk of breast cancer are found, management strategies must be defined by population-level risks as determined by models such as the Gail or IBIS models, as well as patient attitudes toward the risks and benefits of interventions. Herein, we review the contemporary approaches to diagnosis and management of high-risk breast lesions. Progress in this area will ultimately be dependent on the ability to individualize risk prediction through better definition of the key drivers in the carcinogenic process.
    Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology 01/2015; · 15.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although breast conservation is therapeutically equivalent to mastectomy for most patients with early-stage breast cancer, an increasing number of patients are pursuing mastectomy, which may be followed by breast reconstruction. We sought to evaluate long-term quality of life and cosmetic outcomes after different locoregional management approaches, as perceived by patients themselves. We surveyed women with a diagnosis of nonmetastatic breast cancer from 2005 to 2007, as reported to the Los Angeles and Detroit population-based Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries. We received responses from 2290 women approximately 9 months after diagnosis (73% response rate) and from 1536 of these 4 years later. We evaluated quality of life and patterns and correlates of satisfaction with cosmetic outcomes overall and, more specifically, within the subgroup undergoing mastectomy with reconstruction, using multivariable linear regression. Of the 1450 patients who responded to both surveys and experienced no recurrence, 963 underwent breast-conserving surgery, 263 mastectomy without reconstruction, and 222 mastectomy with reconstruction. Cosmetic satisfaction was similar between those receiving breast conservation therapy and those receiving mastectomy with reconstruction. Among patients receiving mastectomy with reconstruction, reconstruction type and radiation receipt were associated with satisfaction (P < 0.001), with an adjusted scaled satisfaction score of 4.7 for patients receiving autologous reconstruction without radiation, 4.4 for patients receiving autologous reconstruction and radiation therapy, 4.1 for patients receiving implant reconstruction without radiation therapy, and 2.8 for patients receiving implant reconstruction and radiation therapy. Patient-reported cosmetic satisfaction was similar after breast conservation and after mastectomy with reconstruction. In patients undergoing postmastectomy radiation, the use of autologous reconstruction may mitigate the deleterious impact of radiation on cosmetic outcomes.
    Annals of surgery. 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression was associated with locoregional recurrence (LRR) in the preadjuvant trastuzumab era. This study aimed to examine the effect of trastuzumab on LRR in mastectomy patients and whether it varied with postmastectomy radiation (PMRT). Methods From the authors’ institutional database, 501 women with stages I–III HER2-positive breast cancer who underwent mastectomy from 1998 to 2007 were identified. A landmark analysis was performed to compare two cohorts: 170 women who received trastuzumab and 281 who did not. Kaplan–Meier methods were used to estimate locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRRFS). A propensity score analysis was used to balance the treatment groups with respect to multiple covariates. Analogous methods were used to study the effect of PMRT. Results The women in the trastuzumab group were more likely to be node positive and to receive systemic therapy or PMRT (p –1.09; p = 0.07]. After adjustment for multiple covariates, including receipt of chemotherapy and PMRT, trastuzumab decreased LRR rates (HR 0.21; 95 % CI 0.04–0.94; p = 0.04). Among the women who received PMRT, trastuzumab reduced the 5-year LRR rate (0 vs 5 %; p = 0.06). Among those who did not receive PMRT, trastuzumab did not significantly decrease LRR (3 vs 6 %; p = 0.26). Conclusion High rates of locoregional control (5-year rate, 98 %) were observed among patients who received trastuzumab and mastectomy ± PMRT. Trastuzumab decreased LRR in HER2-positive women who received mastectomy and PMRT, suggesting that the largest benefit is seen in a higher-risk subset of patients.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 01/2015; · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is both a risk indicator and non-obligate precursor of invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC). We sought to characterize the transcriptomic features of LCIS and ILC, with a focus on the identification of intrinsic molecular subtypes of LCIS and the changes involved in the progression from normal breast epithelium to LCIS and ILC. Fresh-frozen classic LCIS, classic ILC, and normal breast epithelium (N) from women undergoing prophylactic or therapeutic mastectomy were prospectively collected, laser-capture microdissected, and subjected to gene expression profiling using Affymetrix HG-U133A 2.0 microarrays. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of 40 LCIS samples identified 2 clusters of LCIS distinguished by 6431 probe sets (p < 0.001). Genes identifying the clusters included proliferation genes and other genes related to cancer canonical pathways such as TGF beta signaling, p53 signaling, actin cytoskeleton, apoptosis and Wnt-Signaling pathway. A supervised analysis to identify differentially expressed genes (p < 0.001) between normal epithelium, LCIS, and ILC, using 23 patient-matched triplets of N, LCIS, and ILC, identified 169 candidate precursor genes, which likely play a role in LCIS progression, including PIK3R1, GOLM1, and GPR137B. These potential precursor genes map significantly more frequently to 1q and 16q, regions frequently targeted by gene copy number alterations in LCIS and ILC. Here we demonstrate that classic LCIS is a heterogeneous disease at the transcriptomic level and identify potential precursor genes in lobular carcinogenesis. Understanding the molecular heterogeneity of LCIS and the potential role of these potential precursor genes may help personalize the therapy of patients with LCIS. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Molecular oncology. 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an operational term that refers to a heterogeneous collection of breast cancers lacking expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor, and HER2. These tumors account for 12–17 % of all breast cancers, preferentially affect young women, are more frequent in women of African and Hispanic descent, and are enriched in the population of patients diagnosed with “interval cancers.” TNBCs account for the majority of breast cancers arising in BRCA1 germline mutation carriers (approximately 80 %), and approximately 11–16 % of all TNBCs harbor BRCA1 or BRCA2 germline mutations. Well-known risk factors for ER-positive cancers, such as reproductive history and hormonal factors, do not appear to have the same correlations for TNBC, and histologic risk factors for TNBC have not been identified. Patients with TNBC have a higher risk of both local and distant recurrence, but this is not mitigated by bigger surgery, and standard criteria should be used to select the approach to local therapy in these patients. Although platinum drugs have shown promise in the treatment of TNBC, standard chemotherapy remains the standard of care outside of a clinical trial.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 12/2014; 22(3). · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines consider (18)F-FDG PET/CT for only clinical stage III breast cancer patients. However, there is debate whether TNM staging should be the only factor in considering if PET/CT is warranted. Patient age may be an additional consideration, because young breast cancer patients often have more aggressive tumors with potential for earlier metastases. This study assessed PET/CT for staging of asymptomatic breast cancer patients younger than 40 y.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 09/2014; · 5.56 Impact Factor
  • Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine 08/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer do not undergo breast reconstruction.
    JAMA surgery. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Ductal carcinoma in situ with microinvasion (DCISM) is a rare diagnosis with a good prognosis. Although nodal metastases are uncommon, sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) remains standard care. Volume of disease in invasive breast cancer is associated with SLNB positivity, and, thus we hypothesized that in a large cohort of patients with DCISM, multiple foci of microinvasion might be associated with a higher risk of positive SLNB.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 08/2014; · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 08/2014; 89(5):1139–1141. · 4.59 Impact Factor
  • Melissa Pilewskie, Monica Morrow
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews the relevant data on breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) use in screening, the short-term surgical outcomes and long-term cancer outcomes associated with the use of MRI in breast cancer staging, the use of MRI in occult primary breast cancer, as well as MRI to assess eligibility for accelerated partial breast irradiation and to evaluate tumor response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. MRI for screening is supported in specific high-risk populations, namely, women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, a family history suggesting a hereditary breast cancer syndrome, or a history of chest wall radiation.
    Surgical Oncology Clinics of North America 07/2014; · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ACOSOG Z0011 trial demonstrated that axillary dissection (ALND) is not necessary for local control or survival in women with T1/2cN0 cancer undergoing breast-conserving therapy. There is concern about applying these results to triple-negative (TN) cancers secondary to their high local-recurrence (LR) rate. We examined the frequency of lymphovascular invasion (LVI) and nodal metastases in TN cancers to determine whether ALND can be safely avoided in this subtype.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 06/2014; · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE The growing rate of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) among women diagnosed as having breast cancer has raised concerns about potential for overtreatment. Yet, there are few large survey studies of factors that affect women's decisions for this surgical treatment option. OBJECTIVE To determine factors associated with the use of CPM in a population-based sample of patients with breast cancer. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A longitudinal survey of 2290 women newly diagnosed as having breast cancer who reported to the Detroit and Los Angeles Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries from June 1, 2005, to February 1, 2007, and again 4 years later (June 2009 to February 2010) merged with Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry data (n = 1536). Multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate factors associated with type of surgery. Primary independent variables included clinical indications for CPM (genetic mutation and/or strong family history), diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging, and patient extent of worry about recurrence at the time of treatment decision making. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Type of surgery received from patient self-report, categorized as CPM, unilateral mastectomy, or breast conservation surgery. RESULTS Of the 1447 women in the analytic sample, 18.9% strongly considered CPM and 7.6% received it. Of those who strongly considered CPM, 32.2% received CPM, while 45.8% received unilateral mastectomy and 22.8% received breast conservation surgery (BCS). The majority of patients (68.9%) who received CPM had no major genetic or familial risk factors for contralateral disease. Multivariate regression showed that receipt of CPM (vs either unilateral mastectomy or breast conservation surgery) was significantly associated with genetic testing (positive or negative) (vs UM, relative risk ratio [RRR]: 10.48; 95% CI, 3.61-3.48 and vs BCS, RRR: 19.10; 95% CI, 5.67-56.41; P < .001), a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer (vs UM, RRR: 5.19; 95% CI, 2.34-11.56 and vs BCS, RRR: 4.24; 95% CI, 1.80-9.88; P = .001), receipt of magnetic resonance imaging (vs UM RRR: 2.07; 95% CI, 1.21-3.52 and vs BCS, RRR: 2.14; 95% CI, 1.28-3.58; P = .001), higher education (vs UM, RRR: 5.04; 95% CI, 2.37-10.71 and vs BCS, RRR: 4.38; 95% CI, 2.07-9.29; P < .001), and greater worry about recurrence (vs UM, RRR: 2.81; 95% CI, 1.14-6.88 and vs BCS, RRR: 4.24; 95% CI, 1.80-9.98; P = .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Many women considered CPM and a substantial number received it, although few had a clinically significant risk of contralateral breast cancer. Receipt of magnetic resonance imaging at diagnosis contributed to receipt of CPM. Worry about recurrence appeared to drive decisions for CPM although the procedure has not been shown to reduce recurrence risk. More research is needed about the underlying factors driving the use of CPM.
    JAMA surgery. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To convene a multidisciplinary panel of breast experts to examine the relationship between margin width and ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) and develop a guideline for defining adequate margins in the setting of breast conserving surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy. Methods and Materials A multidisciplinary consensus panel used a meta-analysis of margin width and IBTR from a systematic review of 33 studies including 28,162 patients as the primary evidence base for consensus. Results Positive margins (ink on invasive carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ) are associated with a 2-fold increase in the risk of IBTR compared with negative margins. This increased risk is not mitigated by favorable biology, endocrine therapy, or a radiation boost. More widely clear margins than no ink on tumor do not significantly decrease the rate of IBTR compared with no ink on tumor. There is no evidence that more widely clear margins reduce IBTR for young patients or for those with unfavorable biology, lobular cancers, or cancers with an extensive intraductal component. Conclusions The use of no ink on tumor as the standard for an adequate margin in invasive cancer in the era of multidisciplinary therapy is associated with low rates of IBTR and has the potential to decrease re-excision rates, improve cosmetic outcomes, and decrease health care costs.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 05/2014; 88(3):553–564. · 4.59 Impact Factor
  • Melissa L Pilewskie, Monica Morrow
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    ABSTRACT: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has revolutionized the surgical management of the axilla for patients with early breast cancer. SLNB initially became standard regional therapy for women who were both clinically and pathologically node-negative. Subsequently, SLNB has been established as appropriate management in patients with very low axillary tumor burden, defined as isolated tumor cells or micrometastatic disease (< 2 mm); it provides accurate staging information with no detriment to regional control. More recently, the treatment of the axilla has evolved for women with macrometastatic axillary disease. Three randomized controlled trials have compared different regional treatment strategies for patients with > 2 mm of axillary tumor burden. Here we review the evolution of SLNB for the management of clinically node-negative breast cancer, and we address the current controversies and management issues.
    Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.) 05/2014; 28(5):371-8. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whether extracapsular extension (ECE) of tumor in the sentinel lymph node (SLN) is an indication for axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) in patients managed by American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z0011 criteria is controversial. Here we examine the correlation between ECE in the SLN and disease burden in the axilla. Patients meeting Z0011 clinicopathologic criteria (pT1-2, cN0 with <3 positive SLNs) were selected from a prospectively maintained database (2006-2013). Chart review documented the presence and extent of ECE. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy patients were excluded. Comparisons were made by presence and extent (≤2 vs. >2 mm) of ECE. Of 11,730 patients, 778 were pT1-2, cN0 with <3 positive SLNs without ECE, and 331 (2.8 %) had ECE. Of these, 180 had ≤2 mm and 151 had >2 mm of ECE. Patients with ECE were older (57 vs. 54 years; p = 0.001) and had larger (2.0 vs. 1.7 cm; p < 0.0001), multifocal (p = 0.006), hormone receptor-positive tumors (p = 0.0164) with lymphovascular invasion (p < 0.0001). Presence and extent of ECE were associated with greater axillary disease burden; 20 and 3 % of patients with and without ECE, respectively, had ≥4 additional positive nodes at completion ALND (p < 0.0001), and 33 % of patients with >2 mm ECE had ≥4 additional positive nodes at completion ALND, compared with 9 % in the <2 mm group (p < 0.0001). On multivariate analysis, >2 mm of ECE was the strongest predictor of ≥4 positive nodes at completion ALND (odds ratio 14.2). Presence and extent of ECE were significantly correlated with nodal tumor burden at completion ALND, thus suggesting that >2 mm of ECE may be an indication for ALND or radiotherapy when applying Z0011 criteria to patients with metastases in <3 SLNs. ECE reporting should be standardized to facilitate future studies.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 04/2014; · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Nehmat Houssami, Monica Morrow
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    ABSTRACT: The optimal margin in breast-conserving surgery is controversial, and re-excision is common. Pathologic margin assessment is not standardized, and tumor biology and the use of systemic therapy have a major impact on local control. A study-level meta-analysis found no difference in local recurrence for margin widths of 1, 2, and 5 mm, leading a multidisciplinary panel to recommend adoption of no ink on tumor as the standard definition of a negative margin. J. Surg. Oncol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 04/2014; 110(1). · 2.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Monica Morrow
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    ABSTRACT: In September 2011, the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) Executive Council voted to transition to self-management. The transition was successfully completed in October 2012. This article summarizes the infrastructure changes that have occurred to facilitate the transition, the SSO goals, selected results from the 2012 Membership Survey, and future directions for the SSO.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 03/2014; · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Melissa Pilewskie, Monica Morrow
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    ABSTRACT: Data addressing margin width and the risk of local recurrence (LR) for women undergoing breast-conserving therapy have not revealed improved recurrence rates with larger negative margins. However, incidence of LR has been revealed to vary between breast cancer subtypes, with the incidence of LR higher for triple negative (TN) breast cancer than for non-TN cancers, raising the question of whether the same margin width is appropriate for all breast cancer subtypes. This paper reviews the literature addressing margin status in breast-conserving therapy within the TN subtype. Current evidence does not support a wider surgical margin for TN breast cancer. Recent studies reveal similar LR for TN breast cancer treated with breast conservation and with mastectomy, suggesting that cancer biology, and not the negative margin width, determines the risk of LR.
    Current Breast Cancer Reports 03/2014;

Publication Stats

7k Citations
2,058.36 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2015
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      • • Breast Service
      • • Department of Surgery
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2013
    • Concordia University–Ann Arbor
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2005–2013
    • Fox Chase Cancer Center
      • Department of Surgery
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
    • University of Michigan
      • • Department of Internal Medicine
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology
      • • Department of Surgery
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • Department of Surgery
      Durham, NC, United States
    • Karmanos Cancer Institute
      Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • Department of Surgical Oncology
      Houston, TX, United States
    • Weill Cornell Medical College
      • Division of Hospital Medicine
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2007–2011
    • John Wayne Cancer Institute
      Santa Monica, California, United States
  • 2010
    • Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
      Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
    • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
      • Klinik für Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe
      Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany
    • Treatment Research Institute, Philadelphia PA
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2007–2010
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2002–2005
    • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
      • Department of Surgery
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
    • American College of Surgeons
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 1998–2005
    • Northwestern University
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      • • Department of Surgery
      Evanston, IL, United States
  • 1996–2005
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      Chicago, Illinois, United States