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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Aug 1;80(5):1453-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.04.015. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Long-term outcomes in patients with isolated supraclavicular nodal recurrence after mastectomy and doxorubicin-based chemotherapy for breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.



To examine the outcome of patients who developed an isolated locoregional recurrence (LRR) involving the supraclavicular fossa (SCV) after initial treatment with modified radical mastectomy and chemotherapy.


Records from 140 breast cancer patients treated on five prospective trials with mastectomy and doxorubicin-based chemotherapy, with or without radiation, who developed a LRR were reviewed. Kaplan-Meier survival times were calculated using date of LRR as time zero.


The median follow-up after LRR was 2.9 years (N = 140; interquartile range, 1.3-6.6 years). In all, 47 of 140 patients (34%) had an SCV component to their LRR. These patients had lower 3-y distant metastasis-free survival (40% vs. 54%, p = 0.003) and overall survival (49% vs. 69%, p = 0.04) than patients without an SCV component. Multivariate analysis revealed that LRR involving an SCV component (hazard ratio, 1.96, p = 0.004) and patients with lymphovascular space invasion in their primary tumors (hazard ratio, 1.65, p = 0.029) were independently associated with a poor distant metastasis-free survival. However, among 23 patients with isolated SCV recurrence, Overall survival was not statistically significantly different between isolated chest wall recurrence and isolated SCV recurrence. Patients with isolated SCV recurrence displayed a median follow-up of 3.3 years (IR, 1.2-5.2). Only 6 LRR of 23 patients were treated with aggressive local therapy, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation (alone or in combination).


Although breast cancer recurrence with SCV involvement carries a high risk of distant metastasis and death, among women with recurrence limited to the SCV alone, overall survival after isolated SCV recurrence can be long (25% >5 years).

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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