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ESMO Open. 2017 May 10;2(2):e000134. doi: 10.1136/esmoopen-2016-000134. eCollection 2017.

The effect of adjuvant chemotherapy in male breast cancer: 134 cases from a retrospective study.

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Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, China.
Department of Pathology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, China.



Male breast cancer (BC) is a kind of rare tumour. There were few researches concerning the effect of chemotherapy for it. The purpose of this study is to estimate the value of chemotherapy on prognosis in male BC.


Complete clinical and pathological information of male BC were collected from January 1990 to January 2008 in Zhejiang Cancer Hospital in China. 134 cases of male BC were included for analysis and separated into two groups based on receiving chemotherapy or not receiving chemotherapy. The disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) between chemotherapy group and non-chemotherapy group were compared with Kaplan-Meier survival curve. Stratified analysis was used to evaluate the strength of the association between chemotherapy and each risk factor. Multivariate analysis was conducted by using COX proportional hazard regression model.


There were 58.21% (78/134) cases who underwent chemotherapy and 41.79% (56/134) cases without chemotherapy. There were 20 cases (25.64%) with recurrence/metastasis in patients with chemotherapy and six cases (10.71%) in patients without chemotherapy. The mean DFS time of male BC with chemotherapy and non-chemotherapy is 150.87 and 154.13 months, respectively (χ2=3.825, p=0.050). The mean OS time of male BC with chemotherapy and non-chemotherapy is 155.33 and 154.26 months, respectively (χ2=2.542, p=0.111). COX proportional hazard regression model showed that the two groups had similar DFS (HR=0.386, p=0.165), while chemotherapy might be a protective fact on OS (HR=0.140, p=0.026).


The utility of chemotherapy should be considered in the high risk level of recurrence/metastasis in male BC.


chemotherapy; male breast cancer; prognosis

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