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Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Apr;95(17):e3430. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000003430.

Utility of Red Cell Distribution Width as a Prognostic Factor in Young Breast Cancer Patients.

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From the Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.


The prognosis of breast cancer occurs in young women is usually poor. Red cell distribution width (RDW), 1 of many routinely examined parameters, has recently been proposed as a prognostic marker in solid tumors. The aim of our study was to assess the predictive value of RDW for survival in young women with breast cancer.We reviewed 203 consecutive young female patients (under 40) with invasive breast cancer diagnosed at the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University between January 2008 and December 2012. Preoperational RDW, clinicopathological information, and prognostic data were collected. RDW levels were divided into 2 groups: 161 patients with low RDW (≤13.75%) and 42 patients with high RDW (>13.75%). Clinicopathological differences between the 2 groups were calculated by chi-squared test and Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard regression analyses were used to examine the effect of RDW on survival.We found that high RDW was significantly associated with larger tumor size (P = 0.002), positive lymph node metastases (P = 0.011), and advanced stages (P = 0.004). Patients with high RDW showed significantly lower disease-free survival (DFS; P < 0.001) and lower overall survival (OS) rate (P < 0.001) than patients with low RDW. Moreover, the Cox regression multivariate analysis revealed that high pretreatment DRW was independently correlated with poor DFS and OS, with hazard ratio 4.819 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.291-10.138, P < 0.001) and 5.887 (95% CI 1.666-20.802, P = 0.006), respectively.In conclusion, our study demonstrated that pretreatment RDW may be associated with DFS and OS in young women with breast cancer. Further validation and feasibility studies are required before the result of our study can be considered for clinical practice.

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