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New Study Reveals Recurrent Node-Positive Breast Cancer Patients Develop Distant Metastasis


Patients with recurrent node-positive breast cancer develop distant metastasis.

New Study Reveals Recurrent Node-Positive Breast Cancer Patients Develop Distant Metastasis
Image: Breast Cancer Metastasis | InStyleHealth

According to a new study, distant metastasis is present in all patients with node-positive breast cancer (NPBC) at the time of recurrence. Patients with oligometastasis (OM) have a shorter time to recurrence but a longer overall survival than those with diffuse metastatic (DM) disease (OS).


A team of investigators assessed the patterns and timing of recurrence with respect to survival in NPBC patients at greater risk for developing metastases. Patients and disease characteristics, recurrence location, method of detection, and survival outcome were all collected in a single-institution retrospective review of this population treated with trimodality therapy.


Finally, the investigators identified factors related with recurrence by doing univariate and multivariate analyses.


There were 94 patients with NPBC treated at a safety-net hospital between 2008 and 2019. Twenty-one of them developed recurrence and were divided into the OM (n=10) and DM (n=11) subgroups.


In OM, the median recurrence-free survival was 18 months, while in DM, it was 36 months. The median OS for OM was not reached, but it was 57 months for DM. Over the course of 17 months, four patients with OM progressed to diffuse disease, with a median survival of 57 months.


On initial detection, all patients with recurrence had distant metastases, with bone (n=14) being the most common site. The majority of these recurrences (n=13) were detected using computed tomography, with the majority of the disease occurring in the thorax.


The researchers said, "This study highlights improved surveillance imaging for timely detection of OM breast cancer that may still be amenable to aggressive local salvage therapy to prevent progression to diffuse disease."

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