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Eur J Cancer. 1992;28A(4-5):859-64.

Lymphocyte infiltrates as a prognostic variable in female breast cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.


The predictive value of lymphocyte infiltrates (LI) was studied in 489 patients with breast cancer followed-up for over 10 years. LI were positively correlated to axillary lymph-node status, tumour diameter and histological and morphometric variables (P less than 0.001). In a multivariate analysis LI were independently related to axillary lymph-node status. LI predicted recurrence-free survival (RFS) in rapidly proliferating tumours (P = 0.0269). LI predicted RFS (P = 0.08) and breast cancer related survival (BS) (P = 0.0164) in rapidly proliferating, axillary lymph-node negative tumours. In a multivariate analysis LI independently predicted BS (P = 0.08) in rapidly proliferating tumours. LI independently predicted BS in rapidly (P = 0.025) and slowly (P = 0.09) proliferating, axillary lymph-node negative tumours. If the tumours were not categorised according to proliferation rate, LI and outcome were not significantly related. The results clearly confirm the presence of efficient immunological antitumour defence mechanisms in human breast cancer. Consequently tumour-host interactions are subject to further studies particularly in axillary lymph-node negative breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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