Between 1962 and 1984, a total of 433 patients were treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital with conservative surgery and radiation therapy (CS + RT) to the intact breast. As of January 1990, with a minimum assessable follow-up of 5 years and a median follow-up of 8.21 years, there have been a total of 50 breast recurrences resulting in a 5-year actuarial breast recurrence rate of 8%. Of all clinical factors tested, young age was the most significant prognostic factor for local recurrence (P < .03). In addition, patients with pathologically involved lymph nodes were noted to have a lower local recurrence rate than patients with pathologically negative axillae (P < .05). These findings were especially notable given the fact that the node-positive group had a higher percentage of T2 tumors and a higher percentage of patients in the young age group. These paradoxical findings, however, may be explained by the fact that 88% of the node-positive patients underwent adjuvant systemic therapy in the form of either systemic chemotherapy or hormonal therapy, while only 8% of node-negative patients underwent any adjuvant systemic therapy. When analyzed as a function of adjuvant therapy, those patients receiving adjuvant therapy had a lower local recurrence rate than those patients not receiving adjuvant therapy (P < .08). We conclude that adjuvant systemic therapy impacts on the ipsilateral breast recurrence rate in patients treated with CS + RT. The implications of this study in light of the widespread use of adjuvant systemic therapy are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research