Reproductive tract sarcomas metastasizing to the breast are uncommon. To our knowledge, metastasis of vaginal leiomyosarcoma to the breast has not been previously reported in the literature.
We present the first report of a FIGO stage IV primary vaginal leiomyosarcoma with metastases to the lung and left breast. Treatment included neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery and postoperative chemotherapy. Lung metastasis disappeared but recurred 14 months later in conjunction with left breast metastasis which was resected.
Primary vaginal sarcoma with lung and breast metastases is very rare in female genital malignancies. We present this case to alert gynecologists to the need for early diagnosis and aggressive management.
Vaginal leiomyosarcoma; Breast metastasis; Lung metastasis; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
We report here on the multiple genital tract neoplasms in a 41-yr-old Korean woman with Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome (PJS). The patient presented with lower abdominal pain. Her previous medical history was PJS and breast cancer. Pelvic ultrasound showed a multilocular cyst at the right adnexal region, diagnosed as bilateral ovarian mucinous borderline tumors. An ovarian sex cord tumor with annular tubules was incidentally diagnosed together with a minimal deviation adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix and mucinous metaplasia of both the Fallopian tubal mucosa and the endometrium. Although the cases of multiple genital tract tumors with PJS has rarely been reported, the present case appears to be the first in Korea in which the PJS syndrome was complicated by multiple genital tract tumors and infiltrating carcinoma of the breast. The clinical significance of the multiple genital tract tumors and breast cancer associated with PJS is reviewed.
Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome; Breast; Ovary; Cervix Uteri; Fallopian Tubes
Although the lung, liver, or bones are the most common location for distant metastases in breast cancer patients, metastases to the intestinal tract are very rarely recognized in the clinic. We will present an unusual case of colonic metastasis from a carcinoma of the breast that mimics a primary intestinal cancer, along with a through review of English language medical literature. Despite the fact that isolated gastrointestinal (GI) metastases are very rare and much less common than benign disease processes or second primaries of the intestinal tract in patients with a history of breast cancer, metastatic disease should be given consideration whenever a patient experiences GI symptoms.
Breast cancer; metastasis; colon
Malignant mixed mullerian tumors (MMMT) are rare biphasic malignant neoplasm. The commonest site of their occurrence in female genital tract is body of the uterus. MMMT of the cervix is extremely rare.
We report the clinical, pathological and immunohistochemical profile and diagnostic difficulties in a case of giant MMMT of the cervix in a postmenopausal woman who presented with a large cervical mass. On microscopic examination, initially tumor appeared to be endometrial stromal sarcoma, however, immunohistochemical examination revealed the biphasic nature of the tumor. The malignant epithelial component was basaloid squamous carcinoma with homologous sarcomatous component. The patient was treated with surgery. However, she experienced vaginal vault recurrence four months after the initial treatment, which was successfully treated with pelvic radiotherapy.
Accurate diagnosis of cervical MMMT is important for appropriate treatment of the patient.
The stomach is an infrequent site of breast cancer metastasis. It may prove very difficult to distinguish a breast cancer metastasis to the stomach from a primary gastric cancer on the basis of clinical, endoscopic, radiological and histopathological features. It is important to make this distinction as the basis of treatment for breast cancer metastasis to the stomach is usually with systemic therapies rather than surgery.
The first patient, a 51 year old woman, developed an apparently localised signet-ring gastric adenocarcinoma 3 years after treatment for lobular breast cancer with no clinical evidence of recurrence. Initial gastric biopsies were negative for both oestrogen and progesterone receptors. Histopathology after a D2 total gastrectomy was reported as T4 N3 Mx. Immunohistochemistry for Gross Cystic Disease Fluid Protein was positive, suggesting metastatic breast cancer. The second patient, a 61 year old woman, developed a proximal gastric signet-ring adenocarcinoma 14 years after initial treatment for breast cancer which had subsequently recurred with bony and pleural metastases. In this case, initial gastric biopsies were positive for both oestrogen and progesterone receptors; subsequent investigations revealed widespread metastases and surgery was avoided.
In patients with a history of breast cancer, a high index of suspicion for potential breast cancer metastasis to the stomach should be maintained when new gastrointestinal symptoms develop or an apparent primary gastric cancer is diagnosed. Complete histopathological and immunohistochemical analysis of the gastric biopsies and comparison with the original breast cancer pathology is important.
Metastasis to breast from extra mammarian organs is quite rare with an incidence of 0.5–3%. Malignancies that most commonly metastasize to breast are lymphomas, leukemias, and malignant melanoma. Metastasis of lung cancer to breast is a very rare condition. We present here a case with squamous cell lung cancer that metastasized to breast. A 65-year-old man presented with cough in addition to a mass in the left breast, which had been noted 3 weeks ago and grown gradually since then. A histopathological diagnosis of metastasis of squamous lung cancer was made for the mass in the left breast. PET/CT scan showed no distant metastasis. Chemoradiation therapy was applied for lung cancer. As the prognosis of such patients is extremely poor, it is of a great importance to distinguish a primary breast cancer from a metastatic breast lesion in order to determine the appropriate treatment modality.
Female genital tuberculosis is an uncommon disease that is rarely diagnosed in developed countries.
A 61-year-old postmenopausal woman who had undergone surgery and treated with adjuvant chemotherapy for infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the breast five years ago, presented with bloody vaginal discharge, fatigue, weight loss, and low grade fevers at night for two months. Histological examination of the endometrium, done based on the suspicion of a second primary cancer due to the tamoxifen therapy, revealed a granulomatous reaction. Liquid and solid mycobacterial cultures of the tissues were performed. Although the acid fast staining was negative, the liquid culture was positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Involvement of other systems was not detected. The patient was treated with a three-drug antituberculosis regimen for 9 months and recovered fully.
Female genital tuberculosis is a rare but curable disease that should be included in the differential diagnosis of women with menstrual problems. Early diagnosis is important and may prevent unnecessary invasive procedures for the patient.
Laparoscopic port-site metastasis is a rare but well recognized outcome following surgery in urological cancers, with its etiology not clearly understood. Additionally, vaginal metastasis in clear cell renal cell carcinoma is rare, and has not been previously reported in the setting of papillary renal cell carcinoma.
We present the case of a 71-year-old Chinese woman with metastatic type II papillary renal cell carcinoma with histologically verified vaginal involvement and a concurrent laparoscopic port-site metastasis. This was also associated with a unique constellation of widely disseminated metastatic sites, which include a local relapse, the peritoneum and the urethra.
Laparoscopic port-site metastases are associated with the presence of advanced cancer with multiple sites of metastasis. We hypothesize from the findings of our report and background data that this phenomenon is more likely to be related to tumor factors rather than operative factors. We also present what is, to the best of our knowledge, the first reported case in the literature of vaginal and urethral metastasis and the second reported case of laparoscopic port-site recurrence.
A phyllodes tumor is a neoplasm of mixed mesenchymal and epithelial origin affecting the breast. It may pursue a benign or malignant evolution with distant metastases in the latter case. Sites most commonly affected by metastases are the lungs and bones. Simple mastectomy is the mainstay of treatment. This article presents the first described case of metastasis to the adrenal gland after sarcomatous transformation of a phyllodes tumor. A review of the literature is presented afterwards.
PRESENTATION OF CASE
A 57-year old female patient presented with a voluminous breast mass which was completely resected. Unfortunately she presented with malignant recurrence in the breast which was also resected. A later recurrence within the lung presented and was completely resected but showed aspects of sarcomatous changes. Finally a recurrence was pathologically documented within the adrenal gland. Unfortunately, disease later progressed and the patient refused further treatment at that point.
While malignant transformation of breast phyllodes tumors and metastasis is relatively common, the prognosis for initially benign lesion that are completely excised is usually good. This case represents the first documented metastasis to the adrenal gland of a breast phyllodes tumor.
We presented the first case of adrenal metastasis of a phyllodes tumor after sarcomatous degeneration. This is an unusual presentation of a relatively uncommon but well-recognized disease of variable malignant potential.
CT, Computerized tomodensitometry; Phyllodes tumor; Breast tumor; Breast surgery
The impact of improved treatments for the management of hormone-sensitive breast cancer extends beyond clinical responses. Thanks to appropriate literature and access to the internet, patient awareness of treatment options has grown and patients are now, in many cases, able to engage their oncologists in informed conversations regarding treatment and what to expect in terms of efficacy and safety. Indeed, patients realize that although there is no cure for metastatic disease, treatment can greatly reduce the risk of progression and in the adjuvant setting, where treatment is administered with a curative intent, current treatment options reduce the risk of relapse. The approval of letrozole throughout the breast cancer continuum has provided patients with many reassuring options. The improvement in outcome with letrozole is achieved without a detrimental effect on overall quality of life. Adverse events such as hot flushes, arthralgia, vaginal dryness, and potential osteoporosis are most significant from the patient’s perspective, and it is important that caregivers pay attention to patients experiencing these events, as they can impact compliance unless effectively explained and managed. The major benefits of letrozole are to improve prospects for long-term survivorship in the adjuvant setting and to delay progression and the need for chemotherapy in the metastatic setting.
Adjuvant therapy; Aromatase inhibitors; Breast cancer; Letrozole; Neoadjuvant therapy; Patient
The skeletal muscle is an unusual site for metastasis from breast cancer. We present two cases of breast cancer that relapsed as skeletal muscle metastasis without other distant organ metastasis. We performed the core needle biopsy of metastatic sites and confirmed discordance in estrogen receptor, progesterone receptors, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression between primary breast cancer and skeletal muscle metastases. In the second case, we found the skeletal muscle metastasis through F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography scans (PET/CT). Intramuscular hot spots on PET/CT scans should be considered as a sign of metastasis even in the absence of abnormalities on computed tomography scans. Our patients received systemic chemotherapy, and showed a partial response. Further studies are needed to determine the prognosis and proper management of isolated skeletal muscle metastasis in breast cancer.
Breast; Carcinoma; Neoplasm metastasis; Skeletal muscle
A primary cancer causing thyroid metastasis is extremely rare. In western countries, the most common primary tumors causing thyroid metastases include kidney, lung, breast, and gastrointestinal cancers. In contrast, breast is the most common primary site, followed by kidney, colon, and lung cancers in Korea. To the best of our knowledge, surgically confirmed thyroid metastasis from cholangiocarcinoma has not been reported. Herein, we report the first case of thyroid metastasis secondary to cholangiocarcinoma on which surgery was performed.
Presentation of case
A 55-year-old man was diagnosed with hepatic malignancy in December 2008. He subsequently received 2 cycles of transarterial chemoembolization and 4 cycles of radio-frequency ablation between 2008 and 2010. At follow-up in January 2011, brain metastasis was identified in the right parietal area secondary to cholangiocarcinoma. In April 2011, the patient was found to have palpable masses on the left thyroid and lateral neck. The patient subsequently underwent total thyroidectomy followed by left radical neck dissection. Intraoperatively, an ill-defined mass measuring 6.0 cm was found infiltrating the subcutaneous tissue into the prevertebral fascia. Microscopic and immunohistochemical findings confirmed that the thyroid masses and lymph nodes were metastatic cholangiocarcinoma.
Positive immunohistochemical staining for cytokeratin 7, cytokeratin 19, and AFP and negative results for TG, TTF-1, and cytokeratin 20 can be definitely helpful in arriving at a correct diagnosis.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report on surgically resected thyroid and lateral neck metastases secondary to cholangiocarcinoma.
Neoplasm metastasis; Thyroid metastasis; Cholangiocarcinoma
The common sites of metastasis of breast cancer are bone, lung, and liver, but gastrointestinal metastasis from breast cancer is rare. We experienced a case of solitary ileal metastasis from breast cancer. A 45-years-old woman presented with melena for several weeks. She showed no other abdominal symptoms. Colonoscopy findings showed an ulcerative mucosal lesion in the terminal ileum, and biopsy was performed. Pathologic examination revealed metastatic carcinoma, originated from breast. The tumor cells were positive for estrogen receptor and negative for Cdx-2. She had had a previous medical history of bilateral breast cancer and undergone breast conserving surgery with sentinel lymph node biopsy for both breasts. The torso positron emission tomography scan at 19 months after surgery showed mildly increased uptake in the terminal ileum which was considered as inflammation. Finally, she was diagnosed with solitary ileal metastasis from breast cancer at 22 months after surgery.
Breast; Gastrointestinal tract; Neoplasm metastasis
Breast cancer is the most frequent type of tumor and the second leading cause of death in women. Metastases are present in nearly 60% of cases at the time of diagnosis with the lymph nodes, skeleton, lungs, brain and liver as the most frequent sites of metastases. Gastrointestinal involvement is rare, present in only 10% of all the cases. There is a very low risk of developing breast cancer in men.
A 68-year-old man, with a past history of ductal breast cancer, presented with duodenal obstruction. Medical treatment was attempted without success, so he underwent surgery with subtotal gastrectomy and resection of the first portion of the duodenum. Histological examination showed a duodenal metastasis originating from the previous carcinoma of the breast. Five months after surgery, the patient is alive and well.
Gastrointestinal metastases should be considered in patients with a past history of breast cancer. Surgical treatment should be performed in patients who are symptomatic and in good general condition. To our knowledge this is the only case of a gastrointestinal metastasis from breast carcinoma in a man.
An international workshop titled “Assessing Endocrine-Related Endpoints within the First Years of Life” was held 30 April–1 May 2007, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Representatives from a number of pregnancy cohort studies in North America and Europe presented options for measuring various endocrine-sensitive endpoints in early life and discussed issues related to performing and using those measures. The workshop focused on measuring reproductive tract developmental endpoints [e.g., anogenital distance (AGD)], endocrine status, and infant anthropometry. To the extent possible, workshop participants strove to develop or recommend standardized measurements that would allow comparisons and pooling of data across studies. The recommended outcomes include thigh fat fold, breast size, vaginal cytology, AGD, location of the testis, testicular size, and growth of the penis, with most of the discussion focusing on the genital exam. Although a number of outcome measures recommended during the genital exam have been associated with exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, little is known about how predictive these effects are of later reproductive health or other chronic health conditions.
anogenital distance; anthropometry; endocrine disruptors; genital exam; hormones; infants; measurement; neurodevelopment; reproductive tract development; sexual dimorphism
The aim of the current study was to determine the incidence, clinical presentation, and treatment outcomes of "bone-only metastases" in patients with breast cancer and to analyze the impact of hormone receptor (HR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status on prognosis.
Materials and Methods
Between 1994 and 2007, of 968 patients with metastatic breast cancer who underwent palliative management at Samsung Medical Center, 565 (57%) relapsed with distant metastases. Of the 968, 146 (15%) had bone-only metastases during a median follow-up period of 75 months. Among the 146 patients with bone-only metastases, 122 (84%) were relapsed patients after curative surgery and 24 (26%) were initially metastatic cases.
The median time from primary surgery to bone-only metastases of the 122 patients was 37 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 27 to 46 months). Bone-only metastases were more common in the HR-positive group than in the other subtypes (85% for HR+; 8.2% for HER2+; 6.8% for triple negative. Among all 146 patients, 75 (51%) were treated with hormone therapy. The median post-relapse progression-free survival was 15 months (95%CI, 13 to 17 months). The median overall survival was much longer in the HR+ patients than the HER2+ and triple negative breast cancer patients with marginal statistical significance (65 vs. 40 vs. 40 months, p=0.077).
Breast cancer patients with "bone-only metastases" had excellent clinical outcomes. Further study is now warranted to reveal the underlying biology that regulates the behavior of this indolent tumor, as it should identify 'favorable tumor characteristics' in addition to 'favorable preferential metastatic site.'
Bone; Neoplasm metastasis; Breast neoplasms; Estrogen receptors; Progesterone receptors; HER2
A high proportion of HIV-infected pregnant women present pathogenic organisms in their lower genital tract. This has been associated with the development of postpartum morbility, HIV transmission to the partner and offspring, and other gynaecological conditions, such as cervical dysplasia or cancer. Vaginal flora alterations can range from 47% in Western countries to 89% in Africa in pregnant HIV-positive patients, much higher than about 20% of the general population. Pathogen organism retrieval is high. As peripartum complications due to vaginal infections seem higher in HIV-positive patients, accurate investigation and treatment of such infections are strongly mandatory.
Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) of the gastrointestinal tract is an extremely rare high-grade neoplasm with poor prognosis. For advanced LMS with distant metastasis, the decision as to the choice of the most appropriate therapeutic strategy, including chemotherapy and surgery, is difficult. Here, we present an unusual case of LMS of the sigmoid colon with liver metastases and gastric cancer. The survival of this patient was prolonged by a combined modality therapy involving chemotherapy and surgery.
A 66-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with advanced gastric cancer and multiple liver metastases was referred to our hospital. The initial treatment with docetaxel and S-1 considerably reduced both the gastric cancer and liver tumors; consequently we performed surgical resection. Pathological examination revealed that no viable tumor cells remained in the stomach and chemotherapy resulted in complete remission of the gastric cancer. The liver tumors were immunohistochemically diagnosed as LMS. A tumor of the sigmoid colon was subsequently discovered and the liver tumors were found to have recurred. The surgically resected sigmoid colon and liver tumors were all immunohistochemically diagnosed as LMS. These findings indicated that the multiple liver metastases arose from the LMS in the sigmoid colon, and that they were accompanied by advanced gastric cancer. We performed another surgical resection and administered chemotherapy to treat the recurring liver metastases. The patient survived for 4 years and 10 months after initial presentation at our hospital.
Colonic LMS is rare and its joint occurrence with gastric cancer is extremely unusual. Although LMS is a high-grade neoplasm, a multimodal therapeutic approach can increase patient survival time even when multiple liver metastases are present.
Leiomyosarcoma; Gastric cancer; Liver metastasis; Surgery; Chemotherapy
Bevacizumab has been increasingly used in combination chemotherapy with paclitaxel for treatment of metastatic or recurrent breast cancer. The aim of this report is to underline possible risks associated with the new combination chemotherapy.
A 39-year-old woman with recurrent breast cancer was treated with bevacizumab and paclitaxel. Positron emission tomography revealed breast cancer metastasis to the left supraclavicular lymph nodes and right axillary lymph nodes, with no distant metastasis.
After the third cycle of bevacizumab and paclitaxel, the patient developed a bloody bowel discharge. Emergent colonoscopy demonstrated diverticular bleeding on one of the multiple diverticula in the ascending colon. The bleeding point was successfully clipped colonoscopically.
The factors for diverticular bleeding are believed to be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, constipation, and bevacizumab. We recommend reviewing anamneses for diverticulitis, multiple prior abdominal surgeries, peritoneal carcinomatosis, and regular use of certain drugs.
Breast cancer; Bevacizumab; Paclitaxel; Adverse effects; Diverticular bleeding; Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Opioid analgesics
While there has been much research regarding risk factors and prognostic factors for breast cancer in general, research specific to Iran is sparse. Further, the association between breast cancer survival and socio-demographic and pathologic factors has been widely studied but the majority of these studies are from developed countries. Southern Iran has a population of approximately 4 million. To date, no research has been performed to determine breast cancer survival and to explore the association between the survival and socio-demographic and pathologic factors in Southern Iran, where this study was conducted.
The data were obtained from the cancer registry in Fars province, Southern Iran and included 1148 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2005. The association between survival, and sociodemographic and pathological factors, distant metastasis at diagnosis, and treatment options was investigated using Cox regression.
The majority of patients were diagnosed with an advanced tumour size. Five-year overall survival was 58% (95%CI; 53%–62%). Cox regression showed that family income (good vs poor: hazard ratio 0.46, 95%CI; 0.23–0.90) smoking (HR = 1.40, 95%CI; 1.07–1.86), metastases to bone (HR = 2.25, 95%CI; 1.43–3.52) and lung (HR = 3.21, 95%CI;1.70–6.05), tumour size (≤ 2 cm vs ≥ 5 cm: HR = 2.07, 95%CI;1.39–3.09) and grade (poorly vs well differentiated HR = 2.33, 95%CI; 1.52–3.37), lymph node ratio (0 vs 1: HR = 15.31, 95%CI; 8.89–26.33) and number of involved node (1 vs >15: HR = 14.98, 95%CI; 8.83–25.33) were significantly related to survival.
This is the first study to evaluate breast cancer survival in Southern Iran and has used a wide range of explanatory factors, 44. The results demonstrate that survival is relatively poor and is associated with diagnosis with late stage disease. We hypothesise that this is due to low level of awareness, lack of screening programs and subsequent late access to treatment.
Isolated diaphragmatic metastasis arising from colorectal cancer has been reported only one case in the literature presently. Here, we presented a new case and discussed the possible pathogenesis and the treatment options. A 42-year-old male patient had received anterior resection for sigmoid colon cancer. Although the increased serum CEA level was detected 20 months after the surgery, metastatic lesion could not be detected by repeated colonoscopy, CT scan, bone scan or PET scan for 35 months. We could detect a suspicious metastatic lesion on the liver by CT scan at 56 month after the surgery. During a second-look operation, we found a solitary metastasis on the diaphragm and removed it along with the 1 cm tumor-free resection margin. Although the prognosis associated with skeletal metastasis is poor, the complete resection of isolated diaphragmatic metastasis and subsequent appropriate adjuvant chemotherapy may achieve a cure the disease provided that other metastatic lesions are absent.
Colorectal neoplasm; Metastasis; Diaphragm; Carcinoembryonic antigen
Some molecular subtypes of breast cancer have preferential sites of distant relapse. The protein expression pattern of the primary tumor may influence the first distant metastasis site.
We identified from the files of the Finnish Cancer Registry patients diagnosed with breast cancer in five geographical regions Finland in 1991-1992, reviewed the hospital case records, and collected primary tumor tissue. Out of the 2,032 cases identified, 234 developed distant metastases after a median follow-up time of 2.7 years and had the first metastatic site documented (a total of 321 sites). Primary tumor microarray (TMA) cores were analyzed for 17 proteins using immunohistochemistry and for erbB2 using chromogenic in situ hybridization, and their associations with the first metastasis site were examined. The cancers were classified into luminal A, luminal B, HER2+ enriched, basal-like or non-expressor subtypes.
A total of 3,886 TMA cores were analyzed. Luminal A cancers had a propensity to give rise first to bone metastases, HER2-enriched cancers to liver and lung metastases, and basal type cancers to liver and brain metastases. Primary tumors that gave first rise to bone metastases expressed frequently estrogen receptor (ER) and SNAI1 (SNAIL) and rarely COX2 and HER2, tumors with first metastases in the liver expressed infrequently SNAI1, those with lung metastases expressed frequently the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cytokeratin-5 (CK5) and HER2, and infrequently progesterone receptor (PgR), tumors with early skin metastases expressed infrequently E-cadherin, and breast tumors with first metastases in the brain expressed nestin, prominin-1 and CK5 and infrequently ER and PgR.
Breast tumor biological subtypes have a tendency to give rise to first distant metastases at certain body sites. Several primary tumor proteins were associated with homing of breast cancer cells.
The occurrence of a solitary sternal metastasis from breast cancer is relatively uncommon, and its treatment is controversial. Most case reports on the role of sternal resection in what is termed a “solitary sternal metastasis” tend to present a rather optimistic outcome.
Here, we report the case of a premenopausal woman with axillary lymph node–positive, triple-negative breast cancer treated with mastectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. She developed a radiologically isolated sternal recurrence 3 years later, which was treated with partial sternectomy. The present case report reviews the use of sternectomy for breast cancer recurrence and highlights the need for thorough clinical and radiologic evaluation to ensure the absence of other systemic disease before extensive surgery is undertaken.
Breast cancer; sternal metastasis; sternectomy
One hundred and four patients are reviewed who were found to have thoracic metastases arising from distant primaries. Ninety lesions were intrapulmonary and the remainder involved other thoracic structures, such as chest wall and pleura. The tissue diagnosis was established in all but eight patients. Cases were included only if review of the histology revealed that both primary and secondary tumours were identical. The chest lesion was the presenting feature of the disease in 21 patients. In the remainder, the interval between treatment of the primary and appearance of the thoracic metastasis varied from a few months to 25 years. Twelve patients had metastatic sarcoma. The remainder had metastases from the gastrointestinal tract (29), from the genitourinary tract (32), from breast primaries (18), and a miscellaneous group (13) which included five instances of malignant melanoma and metastases from adrenal, laryngeal, and thyroid primaries. The metastases were treated surgically in 47 patients. In the light of cell type, availability of nonsurgical methods of treatment, site of metastasis, and survival, an attempt is made to evaluate the place of surgery in the management of thoracic metastatic disease.
The dynamics of breast cancer recurrence and death, indicating a bimodal hazard rate pattern, has been confirmed in various databases. A few explanations have been suggested to help interpret this finding, assuming that each peak is generated by clustering of similar recurrences and different peaks result from distinct categories of recurrence.
The recurrence dynamics was analysed in a series of 1526 patients undergoing conservative surgery at the National Cancer Institute of Milan, Italy, for whom the site of first recurrence was recorded. The study was focused on the first clinically relevant event occurring during the follow up (ie, local recurrence, distant metastasis, contralateral breast cancer, second primary tumour), the dynamics of which was studied by estimating the specific hazard rate.
The hazard rate for any recurrence (including both local and distant disease relapses) displayed a bimodal pattern with a first surge peaking at about 24 months and a second peak at almost 60 months. The same pattern was observed when the whole recurrence risk was split into the risk of local recurrence and the risk of distant metastasis. However, the hazard rate curves for both contralateral breast tumours and second primary tumours revealed a uniform course at an almost constant level. When patients with distant metastases were grouped by site of recurrence (soft tissue, bone, lung or liver or central nervous system), the corresponding hazard rate curves displayed the typical bimodal pattern with a first peak at about 24 months and a later peak at about 60 months.
The bimodal dynamics for early stage breast cancer recurrence is again confirmed, providing support to the proposed tumour-dormancy-based model. The recurrence dynamics does not depend on the site of metastasis indicating that the timing of recurrences is generated by factors influencing the metastatic development regardless of the seeded organ. This finding supports the view that the disease course after surgical removal of the primary tumour follows a common pathway with well-defined steps and that the recurrence risk pattern results from inherent features of the metastasis development process, which are apparently attributable to tumour cells.