The prognosis of pT1a-pT1b breast cancer (BC) used to be considered very good, with a 10-y RFS of 90%. However, some retrospective studies reported a 10-y RFS of 81%–86% and suggested benefit from adjuvant systemic therapy.
To evaluate the variables that determined the choice of adjuvant chemotherapy and the type of chemotherapy delivered in pT1a-pT1b BC, we analysed the small tumours enrolled in the NEMESI study.
Out of 1,894 patients with pathological stage I-II BC enrolled in NEMESI, 402 (21.2%) were pT1a-pT1b. Adjuvant chemotherapy was delivered in 127/402 (31.59%). Younger age, grading G3, high proliferative index, ER-negative and HER2-positive status were significantly associated with the decision to administer adjuvant chemotherapy. An anthracycline without taxane regimen was administered in 59.1% of patients, anthracycline with taxane in 24.4%, a CMF-like regimen in 14.2% and taxane in 2.4%. Adjuvant chemotherapy was administered in 88.4% triple-negative and 73.46% HER2-positive pT1a-pT1b BC. Adjuvant trastuzumab was delivered in 30/49 HER2-positive BC (61.2%).
Adjuvant chemotherapy was delivered in 31.59% T1a-pT1b BC treated at 63 Italian oncological centres from January 2008 to June 2008. The choice to deliver chemotherapy was based on biological prognostic factors. Anthracycline-based chemotherapy was administered in 83.5% patients.