The presence of proliferative breast disease with atypia does not significantly influence outcome in early-stage invasive breast cancer treated with conservative surgery and radiation

B Fowble, A L Hanlon, A Patchefsky, G Freedman, J P Hoffman, E R Sigurdson, L J Goldstein
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 1998 August 1, 42 (1): 105-15

PURPOSE: To evaluate the influence of the benign background breast-tissue change of atypical hyperplasia (AH) on outcome in patients with early-stage invasive breast cancer treated with conservative surgery and radiation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four hundred and sixty women with Stage I--II breast cancer treated with conservative surgery and radiation from 1982-1994 had pathologic assessment of their background adjacent benign breast tissue. The median follow-up was 5.6 years (range 0.1-15). The median age was 55 years (range 24-88). Of these, 23% had positive axillary nodes; 25% received adjuvant chemotherapy (CMF or CAF) with (9%) or without (17%) tamoxifen. Of the total, 24% received adjuvant tamoxifen alone. The patients were divided into 2 groups: 131 patients with atypical hyperplasia (ductal, 99 patients; lobular, 20 pts; and type not specified, 12 pts), and 329 patients with no proliferative changes or proliferative changes without atypia.

RESULT: A statistically significant difference was observed between the 2 groups for method of detection, primary tumor size, presence of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), pathologic nodal status, region(s) treated with radiation, and type of adjuvant therapy. Patients with atypical hyperplasia (AH) had smaller primary tumors (T1 80% vs. 70%) more often detected solely by mammography (51% vs. 36%) with negative axillary nodes (87% vs. 73%) and radiation treatment to the breast only (93% vs. 78%). LCIS was observed in 9% of the patients with AH and 3% of those without AH. Patients with AH more often received tamoxifen alone (32% vs. 21%), rather than chemotherapy (15% vs. 29%). There were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups for race, age, menopausal status, family history, histology, histologic subtype DCIS when present, the presence or absence of an extensive intraductal component, final margin status, estrogen or progesterone receptor status, use of re-excision, or total radiation dose to the primary. The 5- and 10-year actuarial ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence rates were 2% and 12% for patients with AH and 4% and 8% for those without AH (p=0.44). Younger women or those with a positive family history of breast cancer with AH did not have an increased rate of breast failure when compared to similar patients without AH. There were no significant differences in the 5- and 10-year actuarial rates of distant metastases (AH 5- and 10-year 7% and 7%, no AH 5- and 10-year 8% and 16%,p=0.31), regional node recurrence (AH 1% and 1%, no AH 1% and 1%,p=0.71), contralateral breast cancer (AH 3% and 3%, no AH 3% and 8%,p=0.71), overall survival (AH 95% and 86%, no AH 95% and 89%, p=0.79), or cause-specific survival (AH 98% and 95%, no AH 96% and 91%,p=0.27). Subset analysis for ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence, distant metastases, overall, and cause-specific survival for T1 vs. T2 tumors and path node-negative vs. path node-positive patients revealed no significant differences between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSION: AH was not associated with an increased risk of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence or contralateral breast cancer in this study of patients with invasive breast cancer treated with conservative surgery and radiation. Therefore, the presence of proliferative changes with atypia in background benign breast tissue should not be a contraindication to breast-conservation therapy.

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