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World J Surg. 2007 Feb;31(2):276-89.

Lymph node ratio is more valuable than level III involvement for prediction of outcome in node-positive breast carcinoma patients.

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  • 1Ankara Oncology Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. yildirimemin@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We examined the relationship between different expressions of positive axillary lymph nodes (PN) and the outcomes of node-positive breast carcinoma patients to determine the best predictor(s) among these expressions and to assess whether anatomic high level involvement is an independent prognostic factor.

STUDY DESIGN:

In this retrospective study, the primary endpoints were distant recurrence (DR), locoregional recurrences (LRR), and disease-free survival (DFS). Univariate and multivariate prognostic factor analyses were carried out using survival and regression methods in the data of 704 patients with PN.

RESULTS:

In multivariate analysis, the number of PN, ratio of PN, log odds of PN, and level III (L-III) involvement, separately, were significant factors for DR in addition to age, tumor size, and lymphovascular invasion (LVI). In the final model including all expressions of nodal involvement, age (continuous P = 0.001; hazard ratio [HR]: 0.98; 95% confidence Interval [95% CI]: 0.96-0.99), tumor size (continuous: P < 0.0001; HR: 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.5), LVI (yes vs. no: P = 0.005; HR: 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.2), and ratio of PN (continuous: P = 0.02; HR: 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.06) were the independent prognostic factors for DR. For LRR, ratio of PN (continuous: P = 0.001; HR: 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03) was the most important factor in addition to age (continuous: P = 0.02; HR: 0.98; 95% CI, 0.97-0.99) and tumor size (continuous: P = 0.04; HR: 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.6). When patients were stratified by number categories of PN (1-3 vs. 4-9 vs. >/= 10), there was no difference between DFSs of patients with and without L-III involvement. In contrast, when patients were stratified by L-III involvement, DFSs according to the number categories were statistically different.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ratio of PN was more valuable than number of PN for predicting outcome in node-positive breast carcinoma patients. Level III involvement was not an independent prognostic indicator either for locoregional or for distant recurrences.

PMID:
17219275
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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