[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The management of regional nodes in early-stage invasive breast cancer continues to evolve. Improved systemic therapy has contributed to better local regional control, and at the same time it has drawn more attention to its importance. Axillary dissections have decreased, in part because of the increased efficacy of systemic therapy, and also because adjuvant therapy decisions are increasingly driven by biologic characterization of the tumor rather than pathologic nodal information. The trend toward less axillary surgery and a shift toward increased reliance on systemic and radiation therapy to address nodal disease has created interesting questions that were subsequently addressed in recent trials. We review the controversies in regional nodal management, the benefits of current treatment paradigms, the balance between less surgery and more radiation, and the potential tradeoffs vs toxicity.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Seminars in radiation oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple randomized trials, as well as a meta-analysis of these studies, have confirmed the equivalence of breast-conservation and mastectomy. In addition, in unselected populations, adjuvant radiation therapy following lumpectomy has been shown to decrease in-breast recurrence and improve overall survival. However, radiation has morbidity, and is costly and inconvenient. Multiple efforts to minimize treatment have been studied, including omitting radiation in low-risk populations, as well as in those with significant competing risks. Central to these efforts has been an increased awareness of the inherent biology, allowing treatment to be more precisely tailored to the risks posed by each individual patient's disease. In addition, an improved understanding of the radio-responsiveness of both tumor and adjacent normal tissue has permitted safe use of short-course (hypofractionated) radiation. Studies are ongoing to determine the most appropriate candidates for both hypofractionated treatment and omission of radiation entirely. The optimal management of ductal carcinoma in situ is also a subject of intense study. Multiple trials have attempted to identify patients who can safely forego radiation and, more recently, molecular predictors of recurrence have been developed to further fine-tune this low-risk population.
No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain metastases are associated with significant morbidity. Minimal research has been conducted on the risk factors for and incidence of brain metastases in women with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). 210 women with Stage III or IV IBC diagnosed from 1997-2011 were identified. Competing risk analysis and competing risks regression were used to calculate the incidence of brain metastases and identify significant risk factors. After a median follow-up in surviving patients of 2.8 years (range 0.6-7.6) and 3.3 years (range 0.2-14.5) in the 47 and 163 patients with (MET) and without (non-MET) metastatic disease at diagnosis, 17 (36 %) and 30 (18 %) developed brain metastases, respectively. The cumulative incidence at 1, 2, and 3 years was 17 % [95 % confidence interval (CI), 8-30], 34 % (95 % CI, 20-48), and 37 % (95 % CI, 22-51) for the MET cohort. The corresponding non-MET values were 4 % (95 % CI, 2-8), 8 % (95 % CI 5-13), and 15 % (95 % CI, 10-22). Once non-MET patients developed extracranial distant metastases, the subsequent 1, 2, and 3 years cumulative incidence of brain metastases was 18 % (95 % CI, 10-28), 25 % (95 % CI, 15-36), and 31 % (95 % CI, 20-43). On multivariate analysis, brain metastases were associated with younger age [hazard ratio (HR), 0.73; 95 % CI, 0.53-1.00; P = 0.05] and distant metastases at diagnosis (HR, 2.33; 95 % CI, 1.11-4.89; P = 0.03). The incidence of brain metastases is high in women with IBC. Particularly for patients with extracranial distant metastases, routine screening with magnetic resonance imaging should be considered.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive subtype. This study analyzes the patterns of failure in patients with IBC treated at our institution.
We retrospectively analyzed the records of 227 women with IBC presenting between 1997 and 2011. Survival analysis was used to calculate overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival. Competing risk analysis was used to calculate locoregional recurrence (LRR).
A total of 173 patients had locoregional-only disease at presentation (non-MET). Median follow-up in the surviving patients was 3.3 years. Overall, 132 (76.3 %) patients received trimodality therapy with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy. Three-year OS was 73.1 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 64.9-82.4]. Cumulative LRR was 10.1, 16.9, and 21.3 % at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively. No variable was significantly associated with LRR. Fifty-four patients had metastatic disease at presentation (MET). Median follow-up in the surviving patients was 2.6 years. Three-year OS was 44.3 % (95 % CI 31.4-62.5). Twenty-four (44.4 %) patients received non-palliative local therapy (radiotherapy and/or surgery). For these patients, median OS after local therapy was 2 years. Excluding six patients who received local therapy for symptom palliation, the crude incidence of locoregional progression or recurrence (LRPR) was 17 % (4/24) for those who received local therapy compared with 57 % (13/23) for those who did not.
For non-MET patients, LRR remains a problem despite trimodality therapy. More aggressive treatment is warranted. For MET patients, nearly 60 % have LRPR with systemic therapy alone. Local therapy should be considered in the setting of metastatic disease to prevent potential morbidity of progressive local disease.
No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Local-regional recurrence (LRR) after breast-conserving therapy (BCT) can result in distant metastasis and decreased disease-free survival (DFS). This study examines factors associated with DFS following LRR. The initial population included 2,233 consecutive women who underwent BCT from 1998 to 2007. Biologic subtype was approximated using a combination of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), and tumor grade. Cumulative incidence of DFS after LRR was calculated. The association of clinical, pathologic, and treatment parameters with DFS was evaluated using a Cox regression model. At a median follow-up of 105 months, 82 patients (3.7%) had a LRR. Of these, 66 (80%) were in-breast and 16 (20%) involved the ipsilateral lymph nodes. Twenty patients subsequently developed distant metastases. Five-year DFS after initial recurrence was 69.6% for the overall cohort. On univariate analysis, triple-negative disease (ER/PR/HER2 negative, TNBC) was associated with reduced DFS (HR = 3.8; 95% CI: 1.8–8.1; p < 0.001). Other factors associated with reduced DFS were larger tumor size (HR = 1.3; 95% CI: 1.03–1.6; p = 0.02), shorter interval from initial diagnosis to LRR (HR = 0.98 per month; 95% CI: 0.97–0.99; p = 0.02), and no salvage surgery (HR = 0.2; 95% CI: 0.09–0.5; p = 0.001). On multivariate analysis, TNBC remained the most significant factor associated with reduced DFS (HR = 4.8; 95% CI: 2.25–10.4; p < 0.001). Compared to women with luminal A disease, those with TNBC had significantly worse DFS (37.5% versus 88.3% at 5 years; p < 0.001). Women with TNBC who developed LRR were at high risk of subsequent recurrence. Efforts should be targeted toward both preventing initial recurrence and decreasing subsequent metastasis.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The Breast Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Radiation therapy to the breast following breast conservation surgery has been the standard of care since randomized trials demonstrated equivalent survival compared to mastectomy and improved local control and survival compared to breast conservation surgery alone. Recent controversies regarding adjuvant radiation therapy have included the potential role of additional radiation to the regional lymph nodes. This review summarizes the evolution of regional nodal management focusing on 2 topics: first, the changing paradigm with regard to surgical evaluation of the axilla; second, the role for regional lymph node irradiation and optimal design of treatment fields. Contemporary data reaffirm prior studies showing that complete axillary dissection may not provide additional benefit relative to sentinel lymph node biopsy in select patient populations. Preliminary data also suggest that directed nodal radiation therapy to the supraclavicular and internal mammary lymph nodes may prove beneficial; publication of several studies are awaited to confirm these results and to help define subgroups with the greatest likelihood of benefit.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
One third of patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) achieve pathologic complete response (pCR) with standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). CALGB 40603 (Alliance), a 2 × 2 factorial, open-label, randomized phase II trial, evaluated the impact of adding carboplatin and/or bevacizumab.
Patients and methods:
Patients (N = 443) with stage II to III TNBC received paclitaxel 80 mg/m(2) once per week (wP) for 12 weeks, followed by doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide once every 2 weeks (ddAC) for four cycles, and were randomly assigned to concurrent carboplatin (area under curve 6) once every 3 weeks for four cycles and/or bevacizumab 10 mg/kg once every 2 weeks for nine cycles. Effects of adding these agents on pCR breast (ypT0/is), pCR breast/axilla (ypT0/isN0), treatment delivery, and toxicities were analyzed.
Patients assigned to either carboplatin or bevacizumab were less likely to complete wP and ddAC without skipped doses, dose modification, or early discontinuation resulting from toxicity. Grade ≥ 3 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia were more common with carboplatin, as were hypertension, infection, thromboembolic events, bleeding, and postoperative complications with bevacizumab. Employing one-sided P values, addition of either carboplatin (60% v 44%; P = .0018) or bevacizumab (59% v 48%; P = .0089) significantly increased pCR breast, whereas only carboplatin (54% v 41%; P = .0029) significantly raised pCR breast/axilla. More-than-additive interactions between the two agents could not be demonstrated.
In stage II to III TNBC, addition of either carboplatin or bevacizumab to NACT increased pCR rates, but whether this will improve relapse-free or overall survival is unknown. Given results from recently reported adjuvant trials, further investigation of bevacizumab in this setting is unlikely, but the role of carboplatin could be evaluated in definitive studies, ideally limited to biologically defined patient subsets most likely to benefit from this agent.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to characterize long-term breast pain in patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery and radiation (BCT) and to identify predictors of this pain.
Methods and materials:
We identified 355 eligible patients with Tis-T2N0M0 breast cancer who underwent BCT in 2007 to 2011, without recurrent disease. A questionnaire derived from the Late Effects Normal Tissue Task Force (LENT) Subjective, Objective, Management, Analytic (SOMA) scale was mailed with 7 items detailing the severity, frequency, duration, and impact of ipsilateral breast pain over the previous 2 weeks. A logistic regression model identified predictors of long-term breast pain based on questionnaire responses and patient, disease, and treatment characteristics.
The questionnaire response rate was 80% (n=285). One hundred thirty-five patients (47%) reported pain in the treated breast, with 19 (14%) having pain constantly or at least daily; 15 (11%) had intense pain. The pain interfered with daily activities in 11 patients (8%). Six patients (4%) took analgesics for breast pain. Fourteen (10%) thought that the pain affected their quality of life. On univariable analysis, volume of breast tissue treated to ≥105% of the prescribed dose (odds ratio [OR] 1.001 per cc, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.000-1.002; P=.045), volume treated to ≥110% (OR 1.009 per cc, 95% CI 1.002-1.016; P=.012), hormone therapy use (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.12-3.39; P=.02), and other sites of pain (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.05-3.07; P=.03) predicted for long-term breast pain. On multivariable analysis, volume ≥110% (OR 1.01 per cc, 95% CI 1.003-1.017; P=.007), shorter time since treatment (OR 0.98 per month, 95% CI 0.96-0.998; P=.03), and hormone therapy (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.05-3.25; P=.03) were independent predictors of pain.
Long-term breast pain was common after BCT. Although nearly half of patients had pain, most considered it tolerable. Dosimetric inhomogeneity independently predicted for pain and should be minimized to the greatest extent possible.
No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conventional preoperative chemotherapy regimens have only limited efficacy in hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer and new approaches are needed. We hypothesized that capecitabine, which is effective in metastatic breast cancer, may be an active preoperative treatment for HR+ breast cancer. Women with HR+, HER2-negative operable breast cancer received capecitabine, 2000 mg/m(2) daily in divided doses for 14 days, followed by a 7-day rest period. Treatment was repeated every 21 days for a total of four cycles. The primary endpoint of the study was to determine the rate of pathological complete response (pCR). Because of slow accrual, the study was closed after 24 patients were enrolled. Three patients had a complete clinical response, and eight patients had a partial clinical response, for an overall clinical response rate of 45.8%. There were no cases of pCR. Of the 22 patients who had pathological response assessment by the Miller-Payne grading system, there were six grade 3 responses, and no grade 4 or 5 responses. Toxicity was manageable: the only grade 3 toxicities observed were one case each of diarrhea, palmar plantar erythrodysesthesia, hypokalemia, and mucositis. There was no association between baseline levels, or change in level from baseline to cycle 1, or from baseline to time of surgery, of thymidine phosphorylase (TYMP), thymidylate synthase (TYMS), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD), or Ki67 and pathological, clinical, or radiographic response. Preoperative capecitabine is a well-tolerated regimen, but appears not lead to pCR when used as monotherapy in HR+ breast cancer.