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Ann Surg Oncol. 2004 Sep;11(9):869-74.

Long-term survival after an aggressive surgical approach in patients with breast cancer hepatic metastases.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 444, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Metastatic breast cancer is generally believed to be associated with a poor prognosis. Therapeutic advances over the past two decades, however, have resulted in improved outcomes for selected patients with limited metastatic disease.


Between March 1991 and October 2002, 31 patients had hepatic resection for breast cancer metastases limited to the liver. Clinical and pathologic data were collected prospectively from breast and hepatobiliary databases.


Median age of patients was 46 years (range, 31 to 70). Liver metastases were solitary in 20 patients and multiple in 11 patients. Median size of the largest liver metastasis was 2.9 cm (range, 1 to 8). Major liver resections (three or more segments resected) were performed in 14 patients, whereas minor resections (fewer than three segments resected) with or without radiofrequency ablation (RFA) were performed in 17 patients. No postoperative mortality occurred. Of the 31 patients, 27 (87%) received either preoperative or postoperative systemic therapy as treatment for metastatic disease. The median survival was 63 months; a single patient died within 12 months of hepatic resection. The overall 2- and 5-year survival rates were 86% and 61%, respectively, whereas the 2- and 5-year disease-free survival rates were 39% and 31%, respectively. No treatment- or patient-specific variables were found to correlate with survival rates.


In selected patients with liver metastases from breast cancer, an aggressive surgical approach is associated with favorable long-term survival. Hepatic resection should be considered a component of multimodality treatment of breast cancer in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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