Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of breast cancer metastases

James Ryan Mason, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Introduction. Breast cancer is a highly variable disease, and long-term outcomes for individual patients are difficult to predict. We evaluated a retrospective cohort of early stage breast cancer (ESBC) patients based on a variety of clinical and epidemiological factors, specifically looking at the distribution of metastasis and associations with these clinical and epidemiological factors. Methods. Patients were derived from the Early Stage Breast Cancer Repository (ESBCR) with a breast cancer diagnosed between 1985 and 2000. We conducted univariate and multivariate analysis of the data to evaluate associations between characteristics and occurrence of overall, visceral, and bone metastasis. Visceral metastasis was defined as lung, liver, peritoneal, lymph node (thoracic, abdominal, pelvis), and contralateral breast cancer. Results. Overall, 394 (16%) patients developed a metastasis. Of these, 83% were visceral and 17% were bone. Multivariate analyses identified the following variables to be associated with metastasis: Any metastasis: age at diagnosis, stage, ER/PR status, hormone treatment, and type of surgery (1)Visceral metastasis: age at diagnosis, stage, hormone treatment, and type of surgery (2) Bone metastasis –Alcohol use, stage, and ER/PR status Discussion/conclusion. ER-/PR- status has previously been found to be associated with bone metastasis, as we confirm in our cohort. We report an association between alcohol use and bone metastasis whereas previous studies find an association with recurrence. Distribution of metastases varies from previous studies. Typically, previous studies reported bone metastasis >30%, yet our study found 17%. Previous studies varied in design, and definition of visceral metastasis. Future research is needed to further elucidate prognostic factors associated with specific metastases A more thorough understanding of what might predict which ESBC patients will develop metastases can help direct future treatment. Future studies of this nature could include the Perou intrinsic subtypes, biomarkers like Ki-67, and genetic analyses such as Oncotype DX or MammaPrint.

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Recommended Citation

Mason, James Ryan, "Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of breast cancer metastases" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1475271.