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Breast. 2013 Dec;22(6):1119-24. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2013.06.001. Epub 2013 Jul 14.

The impact of lobular and ductal breast cancer histology on the metastatic behavior and long term survival of breast cancer patients.

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Department of Palliative Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, PL 2000, 33521 Tampere, Finland. Electronic address:


The aim of the study was to evaluate the long-term survival of patients with invasive lobular carcinomas (ILC) and invasive ductal carcinomas (IDC) and the metastatic behavior of these two disease entities. Originally, all consecutive patients with pure lobular invasive breast cancers diagnosed between 1990 and 1999 in the area served by the Tampere University Hospital and their matched IDC controls were identified and re-evaluated histopathologically in this follow-up study, resulting in a total of 243 ILCs and 243 IDCs. Data on recurrences and survival were collected until the end of year 2009. Statistical analyses including Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, Fisher's exact test and Cox regression analysis were performed with the PASW Statistics 18.0 computer program. P-values of <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Within the mean follow-up time of 10.04 years, locoregional recurrences were significantly more common among the ILCs than IDCs (35 vs. 20, p = 0.04), but no differences in the total number of distant recurrences or bilaterality were observed. However, when the first distant recurrence sites were studied, ILC patients had significantly less lung metastases (p = 0.04), but more skin metastases (p = 0.04). During the whole follow-up period IDCs metastasized significantly more frequently to the lungs (p = 0.002), whereas gastrointestinal metastases were more common among ILCs (p = 0.02). Although the known favorable prognostic factors (hormone receptor positivity, low grade, low s-phase) were more common for the ILCs, the disease-free survival, the overall survival and the survival after recurrence did not differ between the groups. However, the Cox-regression model showed significantly worse survival for ILCs after adjusting for age, TNM-status, grade and ER-positivity (p = 0.004). In conclusion, ILC and IDC differ in respect for visceral metastases. Despite the known favorable prognostic factors and originally favorable survival, patients with lobular histology appear to have a worse survival in the multivariate analysis after a prolonged follow-up.


Biology; Breast cancer; Cox-regression analysis; Ductal; Lobular; Recurrence

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