Journal Article
. 2016 Aug; 14(1):223.
doi: 10.1186/s12957-016-0988-0.

Factors that predict recurrence later than 5 years after initial treatment in operable breast cancer

Pattaraporn Wangchinda 1 Suthinee Ithimakin 2 
  • PMID: 27557635
  •     15 References
  •     18 citations


Background: Occasionally, breast cancer relapses more than 5 years after initial treatment, sometimes with highly aggressive disease in such late-recurring patients. This study investigated predictors of recurrence after more than 5 years in operable breast cancer.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data from patients with recurrent breast cancer treated at Siriraj Hospital. Patients were divided into those whose relapse times were longer or shorter than 5 years. Factors that predicted late recurrence were analyzed in both the overall population and the luminal subgroup. Patterns of relapse, changes in biomarkers, and time to disease progression after first relapse were also recorded.

Results: We included 300 women whose breast cancers recurred between 2005 and 2013, of whom 180 had recurrence within 5 years of diagnosis and 120 later than 5 years (median time to recurrence: 45.43 months; range: 4.4-250.3 months). Tumors larger than 2 cm, lymph node metastasis, and high nuclear grade were related with early recurrence. Estrogen receptor-positive, progesterone receptor-positive, and HER2(-) disease predicted late recurrence. Almost all late-relapsing patients with luminal tumors had high estrogen receptor (ER(+)) titers (≥50 %) and HER2(-) disease. Liver and brain were the most common early recurrence sites. Biomarkers did not significantly change by time of recurrence.

Conclusions: ER(+)/PR(+) and HER2(-) patients have higher risk of recurrence later than 5 years, especially in patients with high ER titer and low nuclear grade. Larger and node-positive tumors had higher risk of early recurrence.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Clinicopathological; Late recurrence; Luminal breast cancer.

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