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J Breast Cancer. 2016 Jun;19(2):176-184. English. Original Article.
Wen G , Zhang JS , Zhang YJ , Zhu YJ , Huang XB , Guan XX .
Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine, Guangdong, China.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

PURPOSE: This study was designed to investigate the relationship between molecular subtype and locoregional recurrence (LRR) in patients with early-stage breast cancer with 1-3 positive axillary lymph nodes (ALNs) and improve the individualized indications for postmastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT). METHODS: The records of 701 patients with pT1-2N1M0 breast cancer who did not undergo PMRT were retrospectively analyzed. Tumors were subclassified as follows: luminal A, luminal B, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-enriched, and basal-like subtypes. Multivariate Cox analysis was used to determine the risk of LRR associated with the different subtypes and to adjust for clinicopathologic factors. RESULTS: Luminal A, luminal B, HER2-enriched, and basal-like subtypes accounted for 51.2%, 28.0%, 8.1%, and 12.7% of cases, respectively. The median follow-up duration was 67 months (range, 9-156 months). Univariate analysis revealed that, compared with the luminal A subtype, the HER2-enriched and basal-like subtypes were associated with significantly higher 5-year LRR rates (5.6% vs. 21.6% and vs.15.7% respectively; p=0.002 each), lower 5-year LRR-free survival (LRFS) rates (90.6% vs. 73.8% and 78.5%, respectively; p=0.001 each), and poorer 5-year breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) rates (93.7% vs. 82.2% [p=0.002] and 84.9% [p=0.001], respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that the HER2-enriched and basal-like subtypes, age ≤35 years, a medial tumor, and pT2 stage were poor prognostic factors for LRR and LRFS; furthermore, 2 to 3 positive ALNs represented an independent prognostic factor affecting LRR. The 10-year LRR rates of patients with 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 risk factors were 1.0%, 6.9%, 14.3%, 30.4%, and 54.3%, respectively (p<0.001); the 10-year BCSS rates were 86.6%, 88.5%, 84.4%, 79.7%, and 38.8%, respectively (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Molecular subtyping allows for individualized evaluation of LRR risk in patients with pT1-2N1M0 breast cancer. PMRT should be recommended for patients with ≥3 LRR risk factors.

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