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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Dec;118(3):593-8. doi: 10.1007/s10549-009-0376-3. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

Therapy related acute myeloid leukemia in breast cancer survivors, a population-based study.

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Division of Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8007, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA.


The aim of this study was to determine the association between age and stage at diagnosis of breast cancer with the subsequent development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program were analyzed for incidence of second malignancies by age and stage at diagnosis of breast cancer. 420,076 female patients were identified. There was an age dependent risk of a subsequent diagnosis of AML in women younger than 50 years old (RR 4.14; P < 0.001) and women 50-64 years old (RR 2.19; P < 0.001), but not those 65 and older (RR 1.19; P = 0.123) when compared with the expected incidence of AML. A similar age dependent pattern was observed for second breast and ovarian cancers. There was also a stage dependent increase in risk of subsequent AML in younger women with stage III disease when compared with stage I disease (RR 2.92; P = 0.004), and to a lesser extent in middle age women (RR 2.24; P = 0.029), but not in older women (RR 0.79; P = 0.80).Younger age and stage III disease at the time of breast cancer diagnosis are associated with increased risk of a subsequent diagnosis of AML. This association maybe explained by either greater chemotherapy exposure or an interaction between therapy and genetic predisposition.

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