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Br J Surg. 2003 Apr;90(4):426-32.

Value of the Van Nuys Prognostic Index in prediction of recurrence of ductal carcinoma in situ after breast-conserving surgery.

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Department of Surgery, University Hospital of South Manchester, UK.



The Van Nuys Prognostic Index (VNPI), an algorithm based on tumour size, tumour grade, presence of necrosis and excision margin width, is claimed to predict local recurrence after breast-conserving surgery for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The aim of this study was to examine the validity of the VNPI in a UK population.


Clinicopathological data, including VNPI subgroups, for 237 patients who had breast-conserving operations for DCIS were examined. Multivariate data analysis was performed using a Cox regression model to examine the independence and relative importance of different variables in predicting recurrence, and to compare the data with those used in derivation of the VNPI.


The median follow-up was 47 months. There were 37 ipsilateral local recurrences. Excision margin width (P < 0.001) and tumour grade (by Van Nuys grading (P = 0.014) or simple nuclear grading (P = 0.004)) were the only independent risk factors for local recurrence. Excision margin width had three times more power than grade in predicting local recurrence. Subgrouping data by VNPI score predicted recurrence-free survival (P < 0.001), but stratified 78 per cent of patients into a group with a moderate risk of local recurrence.


Excision margin width is the most important predictor of local recurrence after breast-conserving surgery for DCIS. The VNPI lacked discriminatory power for guiding further patient management.

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