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Prognosis of patients with axillary lymph node metastases from occult breast cancer: analysis of multicenter data

 Haeyoung Kim  ;  Won Park  ;  Su SSan Kim  ;  Sung Ja Ahn  ;  Yong Bae Kim  ;  Tae Hyun Kim  ;  Jin Hee Kim  ;  Jin-Hwa Choi  ;  Hae Jin Park  ;  Jee Suk Chang  ;  Doo Ho Choi 
 RADIATION ONCOLOGY JOURNAL, Vol.39(2) : 107-112, 2021-06 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Breast neoplasm ; Lymph nodes ; Radiotherapy ; Unknown primary neoplasms
Purpose: This study was conducted to evaluate prognosis of patients with level I/II axillary lymph node metastases from occult breast cancer (OBC).

Materials and methods: Data of 53 patients with OBC who received axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) positive/negative (+/-) breast-conserving surgery between 2001 and 2013 were retrospectively collected at seven hospitals in Korea. The median number of positive lymph nodes (+LNs) was 2. Seventeen patients (32.1%) had >3 +LNs. A total of 48 patients (90.6%) received radiotherapy. Extents of radiotherapy were as follows: whole-breast (WB; n = 11), regional lymph node (RLN; n = 2), and WB plus RLN (n = 35).

Results: The median follow-up time was 85 months. Recurrence was found in four patients: two in the breast, one in RLN, and one in the breast and RLN. The 5-year and 7-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates were 96.1% and 93.5%, respectively. Molecular subtype and receipt of breast radiotherapy were significantly associated with DFS. Patients with estrogen receptor negative, progesterone receptor negative, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-) subtype had significantly lower 7-year DFS than those with non-ER-/PR-/HER2- tumor (76.9% vs. 100.0%; p = 0.03). Whole breast irradiation (WBI) was significantly associated with a higher 7-year DFS rate (94.7% for WBI group vs. 83.3% for non-WBI group; p = 0.01). Other factors including patient's age, number of +LNs, taxane chemotherapy, and RLN irradiation were not associated with DFS.

Conclusion: Patients with OBC achieved favorable outcome after ALND and breast-targeting treatment. Molecular subtype and receipt of WBI was significant factors for DFS.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Radiation Oncology (방사선종양학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Yong Bae(김용배) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7573-6862
Chang, Jee Suk(장지석) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7685-3382
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