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Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2013 Aug;37(4):728-35. doi: 10.1007/s00266-013-0166-5. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Oncologic surveillance of breast cancer patients after lipofilling.

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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Via Venezian 1, 20133, Milan, Italy.



The regenerative effects of fat injections are based on the same hormones, growth factors, and stem cells that stimulate neoplastic angiogenesis and cancer progression in basic research. Few studies have analyzed the oncologic risk. No report has covered 5 years of oncologic surveillance, and no long-term risk has been estimated. The in vivo relationship between lipofilling and breast cancer remains unclear and controversial. This observational study focused on locoregional recurrence (LR) risk after lipofilling.


The study enrolled 60 patients after breast cancer surgery (total mastectomy) from 2000 to 2007 treated by lipofilling (82 single-surgeon procedures with the same fat-decanting technique). The study ended when follow-up observation reached 10 years.


The study included invasive carcinoma (55 cases), in situ carcinoma (five cases), T1 (71.6 %) and T2 (23.3 %) carcinoma, N+ carcinoma (45 %), and stages 1 (43.3 %) and 2 (45 %) carcinoma. The overall 12-year incidence of LR was 5 % (1.6 % before and 3.3 % after lipofilling). The incidence of local relapse per 100 person-years was 0.36 in the first observation period and 0.43 after lipofilling. All LRs were stage 2, and the same rate, limited to stage 2, was 1.04. The crude cumulative incidence after lipofilling was 7.25 % (95 % confidence interval [CI], 0-15.4 %) for LR and 7.6 % (95 % CI, 0.2-15 %) for distant metastases.


Clinical data and recurrence incidences were compared with those of prior publications concerning lipofilling oncologic risk and discussed in relation to the inherent cancer literature.


Lipofilling may be used safely to treat tumor node metastasis stage 1 subjects after mastectomy. The local risk is low. For stage 2 patients, local failure was not significantly higher. Compared with institutional data and prior publications, the risk still is reliable. Breast conservative treatment must be investigated further because of the high risk for local relapse.


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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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