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Effect of Clinical and Treatment Factors on Survival Outcomes of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patients

Authors Wen S, Manuel L, Doolan M, Westhuyzen J, Shakespeare TP, Aherne NJ

Received 29 October 2019

Accepted for publication 8 February 2020

Published 6 March 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 27—35


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Shelly Wen,1,2 Lucy Manuel,1,2 Moira Doolan,1,2 Justin Westhuyzen,1 Thomas P Shakespeare,1,2 Noel J Aherne1,2

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Mid North Coast Cancer Institute, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia; 2University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence: Noel J Aherne
Department of Radiation Oncology, Mid North Coast Cancer Institute, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450, Australia
Tel +61-2-6656-7000
Fax +61-2-6656-5330

Purpose: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for approximately 15% of breast cancer cases and is associated with a poor prognosis. In this retrospective study of patients undergoing radiation therapy as part of their treatment, disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of TNBC patients were examined in relation to clinical and treatment-related factors.
Patients and Methods: The electronic records of 214 consecutive TNBC patients treated with surgery followed by radiotherapy at the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute between 2006 and 2016 were reviewed. Overall survival and DFS times were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method; multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression modelling was used to assess the significance of prognostic factors.
Results: The majority of tumors were T1 (51.9%), followed by T2 (39.2%) and T3 (6.1%). For the whole group, mean DFS was 106.4 (SD 48.7) months; OS 109.4 (SD 52.1) months. Radiotherapy technique, fractionation protocol and laterality were not significant factors for DFS or OS (p> 0.05). However, compared to breast conservation, mastectomy was associated with poorer DFS (mean 114.2 vs 65.2 months; p< 0.0001) and poorer OS (mean 115.5 vs 80.5 months; p=0.0015). The mastectomy group had fewer patients with tumor size T1 (p=0.001) and higher proportions of T3 (p=0.001) and T4 (p=0.02). On multivariate analysis, tumor size T3/T4 and nodal status N2/N3 were significant factors for reduced DFS (p=0.023 and p=0.0003 respectively). Tumor size T3/T4 was the only significant prognostic factor for reduced OS (p=0.019).
Conclusion: Advanced disease exhibited by tumor size > 5cm and positive nodal status is associated with poorer DFS in TNBC patients. Radiotherapy technique or fractionation protocol were not associated with differences in DFS or OS in our patient cohort.

Keywords: dose fractionation, mastectomy, radiotherapy, survival analysis, triple negative breast neoplasms

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