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BMC Cancer. 2008 Apr 1;8:86. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-8-86.

Primary breast lymphoma: patient profile, outcome and prognostic factors. A multicentre Rare Cancer Network study.

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  • 1Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.



To asses the clinical profile, treatment outcome and prognostic factors in primary breast lymphoma (PBL).


Between 1970 and 2000, 84 consecutive patients with PBL were treated in 20 institutions of the Rare Cancer Network. Forty-six patients had Ann Arbor stage IE, 33 stage IIE, 1 stage IIIE, 2 stage IVE and 2 an unknown stage. Twenty-one underwent a mastectomy, 39 conservative surgery and 23 biopsy; 51 received radiotherapy (RT) with (n = 37) or without (n = 14) chemotherapy. Median RT dose was 40 Gy (range 12-55 Gy).


Ten (12%) patients progressed locally and 43 (55%) had a systemic relapse. Central nervous system (CNS) was the site of relapse in 12 (14%) cases. The 5-yr overall survival, lymphoma-specific survival, disease-free survival and local control rates were 53%, 59%, 41% and 87% respectively. In the univariate analyses, favorable prognostic factors were early stage, conservative surgery, RT administration and combined modality treatment. Multivariate analysis showed that early stage and the use of RT were favorable prognostic factors.


The outcome of PBL is fair. Local control is excellent with RT or combined modality treatment but systemic relapses, including that in the CNS, occurs frequently.

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