Assessment of treatment for patients with primary ductal carcinoma in situ in the breast

E B Fish, J A Chapman, N A Miller, M A Link, E Fishell, B Wright, D R McCready, G Y Hiraki, T M Ross, W M Hanna, H L Lickley
Annals of Surgical Oncology 1998, 5 (8): 724-32

BACKGROUND: Current mammographic technology has resulted in increased detection of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). It is necessary to assess which patients presenting with DCIS are good candidates for breast conservation and which of these patients should receive adjuvant radiation.

METHODS: We accrued clinical data for 124 patients with a primary diagnosis of DCIS from 1979 through 1994. Primary therapy was a mastectomy for 18 patients, and a lumpectomy for 106 patients. Only 18 of the latter group of patients received adjuvant radiotherapy. For the 88 lumpectomy-alone patients (median follow-up, 5.2 years), we evaluated the effects of clinical (age and initial presentation) and pathologic (nuclear grade, architecture, parenchymal involvement, calcifications, and measured margins) factors on recurrence of DCIS or the development of invasive breast cancer.

RESULTS: Patients who underwent lumpectomy with or without adjuvant radiotherapy (median follow-up, 5.0 years) were significantly more likely to have recurrence of DCIS (P=.05) than those who underwent mastectomy (median follow-up, 6.7 years): 18% (19/106) versus 0% (0/18), respectively; lumpectomy-alone patients experienced a 19% (17/88) rate of DCIS recurrence. All recurrent DCIS was ipsilateral. For lumpectomy-alone patients, the factors associated with ipsilateral recurrence of DCIS were extent of involvement of the parenchyma (P=.01, for univariate; P=.07, for multivariate) and initial presentation (P=.05, for univariate; P=.07, for multivariate). Eleven lumpectomy-alone patients developed invasive breast cancer (6 ipsilateral, 5 contralateral); none of the 18 lumpectomy patients who received adjuvant radiation developed invasive disease. None of the factors investigated, including primary surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy, were associated with a significant effect on the development of invasive disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Longer follow-up is required to determine if the benefits of either mastectomy or radiotherapy following lumpectomy persist. There is a suggestion that patients under 40 years of age or women who present with nipple discharge might be considered for either adjuvant radiotherapy following lumpectomy or a simple mastectomy.

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