Identification of Patients at Very Low Risk of Local Recurrence After Breast-Conserving Surgery


      To identify clinical and pathological factors that identify groups of women with stage I breast cancer with a 5-year risk of local recurrence (LR) ≤1.5% after breast-conserving therapy (BCS) plus whole-breast radiation therapy (RT).

      Methods and Materials

      Study subjects were 5974 patients ≥50 years of age whose cancer was diagnosed between 1989 and 2006, and were referred with pT1 pN0 invasive breast cancer treated with BCS and RT. Cases of 5- and 10-year LR were examined using Kaplan-Meier methods. Recursive partitioning analysis was performed in patients treated with and without endocrine therapy to identify combinations of factors associated with a 5-year LR risk ≤1.5%.


      The median follow-up was 8.61 years. Median age was 63 years of age (range, 50 to 91). Overall 5-year LR was 1.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2%-1.9%) and 10-year LR was 3.4% (95% CI, 2.8%-4.0%). Of 2830 patients treated with endocrine therapy, patient subsets identified with 5-year LR ≤1.5% included patients with grade 1 histology (n=1038; LR, 0.2%; 95% CI, 0%-0.5%) or grade 2 histology plus ≥60 years of age (n=843; LR, 0.5%; 95% CI, 0%-1.0%). Ten-year LR for these groups were 0.8% (95% CI, 0.1%-1.6%) and 0.9% (95% CI, 0.2%-1.6%), respectively. Of 3144 patients treated without endocrine therapy, patients with grade 1 histology plus clear margins had 5-year LR ≤1.5% (n=821; LR, 0.6%; 95% CI, 0.1%-1.2%). Ten-year LR for this group was 2.2% (95% CI, 1.0%-3.4%).


      Histologic grade, age, margin status, and use of endocrine therapy identified 45% of a population-based cohort of female patients over age 50 with stage I breast cancer with a 5-year LR risk ≤1.5% after BCS plus RT. Prospective study is needed to evaluate the safety of omitting RT in patients with such a low risk of LR.
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