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Jpn J Cancer Res. 1997 Jun;88(6):590-9.

Fibrotic focus in invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast: a histopathological prognostic parameter for tumor recurrence and tumor death within three years after the initial operation.

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Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, East, Tokyo.


We investigated whether the presence of a fibrotic focus (FF) in the primary lesion and in lymph node metastasis is a good predictor of early tumor recurrence or death in patients with invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). Multivariate relative risk (RR) of tumor recurrence and death according to the presence of FF in the primary tumor was estimated using the Cox proportional hazards regression model with adjustment for other prognostic factors (histologic grade, T classification, nodal status, tumor necrosis, DNA ploidy, c-erbB-2 protein expression, p53 protein expression, and labeling index of proliferating cell nuclear antigen). For the evaluation of the metastatic status in the axillary lymph nodes, RR of multivariate analysis was adjusted for the presence of FF in the metastatic tumor and the number of lymph nodes involved (1-3 and > 3). The presence of FF increased the RR of tumor recurrence significantly for the cases in all stages, and especially for those in stages I and II (RR = 6.9, P < 0.05 and RR = 25.0, P < 0.005, respectively). All cases that died of disease had FF. Among IDCs with FF, 24 cases had FF in lymph node metastasis. Significantly higher RRs of tumor recurrence and death were observed in cases with FF in lymph node metastasis than in those without it (RR = 2.0, P < 0.001 and RR = 5.9, P < 0.05, respectively). It was suggested that the presence of FF is an important predictor of early tumor recurrence or death in patients with IDCs. The presence of FF in lymph node metastatic lesions is also a significant prognostic parameter.

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