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The value of radiotherapy in breast cancer patients with isolated ipsilateral supraclavicular lymph node metastasis without distant metastases at diagnosis: a retrospective analysis of Chinese patients

Authors Wu S, Sun J, Zhou J, Li F, Lin Q, Lin H, He Z

Received 25 October 2013

Accepted for publication 20 November 2013

Published 15 February 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 281—288


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

San-Gang Wu,1,* Jia-Yuan Sun,2,* Juan Zhou,3,* Feng-Yan Li,2 Qin Lin,1 Huan-Xin Lin,2 Zhen-Yu He2

1Xiamen Cancer Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, People's Republic of China; 2Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Department of Radiation Oncology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 3Xiamen Cancer Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, People's Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognosis of ipsilateral supraclavicular lymph node metastasis (ISLM) without evidence of distant metastases at diagnosis in Chinese women with breast cancer and to elucidate the clinical value of adjuvant radiotherapy.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of clinical data for 39 patients with ISLM from breast cancer without distant metastasis at diagnosis. Combined modality therapy, consisting of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, surgery, and adjuvant chemotherapy with or without adjuvant radiotherapy, was offered to the patients.
Results: The patients in this study accounted for 1% of all breast cancer patients treated during the same time period. The median follow-up was 35 months. The 5-year locoregional recurrence-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival, disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) were 57.3%, 42.3%, 34.4%, and 46.2%, respectively. Twenty-three patients received postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy. However, there was no significant difference in the 3- and 5-year locoregional recurrence-free survival (P=0.693), ISLM-free recurrence (P=0.964), distant metastasis-free survival (P=0.964), DFS (P=0.234), and OS (P=0.329) rates between the groups of patients who received or did not receive adjuvant radiotherapy (P=0.840). No significant difference in the 3-year locoregional control rate (P=0.900) was found between patients who were treated with adjuvant radiotherapy at ≤50 Gy and >50 Gy. Univariate analysis showed that clinical tumor size stage and age were prognostic factors that impacted DFS and OS.
Conclusion: Combined modality treatment may achieve satisfactory efficacy in Chinese women with ISLM from breast cancer without distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis, suggesting that ISLM might be considered a curable locoregional disease. Adjuvant radiotherapy did not, however, improve the results of these patients.

Keywords: prognosis, breast cancer, supraclavicular lymph node-metastasis, radiotherapy

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