Clinicopathologic characteristics at diagnosis and the survival of patients with medullary breast carcinoma in China: a comparison with infiltrating ductal carcinoma-not otherwise specified

A-Yong Cao, Min He, Liang Huang, Zhi-Ming Shao, Gen-Hong Di
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2013 April 22, 11: 91

BACKGROUND: Few studies have addressed the biological features of medullary breast carcinoma (MBC) in the context of clinical outcomes. We sought to compare the baseline demographics, standard pathologic factors and long-term clinical outcomes between MBC and infiltrating ductal carcinoma-not otherwise specified (IDC-NOS) using a large database.

METHODS: A total of 2,202 cases with pure IDC-NOS and 188 cases with typical MBC meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. The clinical and biological features, the overall survival (OS) and recurrence/metastasis-free survival (RFS) were compared for both groups.

RESULTS: There were a higher proportion of patients diagnosed prior to 40 years of age in the MBC group compared to the IDC-NOS group. MBC cases demonstrated less aggressive tumor features such as lower tumor stage, smaller tumor size and a lower proportion of nodal involvement than IDC-NOS; however, immunohistochemical staining revealed that MBC displayed the triple-negative phenotype more often than IDC-NOS cases (40.4% versus 26.2%; P <0.001). Although the clinical behavior of MBC was not commensurate with its pathologic features, women diagnosed with MBC had a lower frequency of recurrence/metastasis (P = 0.032) and death (P = 0.042) than those with IDC-NOS, and the 10-year OS and RFS were significantly higher for MBC (91% and 74%) compared to IDC-NOS (81% and 64%). Moreover, multivariate analysis revealed that TNM stage was a statistically significant factor for survival.

CONCLUSIONS: MBC in Chinese women demonstrated less aggressive behavior and better prognosis than IDC-NOS. This favorable outcome was maintained after 10 years.

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