An analysis of 78 breast sarcoma patients without distant metastases at presentation

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2000 Jan 15;46(2):383-90. doi: 10.1016/s0360-3016(99)00444-7.


Purpose: A retrospective review of a single cancer center experience was undertaken to identify clinical or treatment prognostic factors for these unusual tumors, to allow for a recommendation regarding management.

Methods and materials: The charts of 76 women and 2 men with breast sarcoma and without distant metastases at presentation registered from 1958 to 1990 were reviewed. Pathology was centrally reviewed in 54 cases. Histology, tumor size, grade, nodal status, age, menopausal status, history of benign breast disease, extent of surgery, resection margins, and radiation dose were each examined as potential prognostic factors by univariate analysis. To allow an analysis of radiation dose, total dose was normalized to a daily fraction size of 2 Gy.

Results: The median age at diagnosis was 50.5 years (13-82 years). The pathologic diagnosis was found to be malignant cystosarcoma phyllodes in 32 patients, with the remainder being stromal sarcoma (14), angiosarcoma (8), fibrosarcoma (7), carcinosarcoma (5), liposarcoma (4), other (8). Eighteen patients had grade I or II tumors, 43 had grade III or IV, and 18 were not evaluable. The 5- and 10-year actuarial rates for all 78 patients were 57% and 48% for cause-specific survival (CSS), and 47% and 42% for the relapse-free rates (RFR), respectively. The local relapse-free rate (LRFR) was 75% at both 5 and 10 years. The 5-year CSS for grade I or II tumors was 84% versus 55% for grade III or IV tumors (p = 0.01). Conservative surgery versus mastectomy did not lead to statistically significant different outcomes for CSS, RFR, or LRFR. The comparison of positive versus negative margins showed a 5-year LRFR of 33% versus 80% (p = 0.009). Pairwise comparisons of the 5-year CSS of 91% for > 48 Gy versus either 50% for < or = 48 Gy or 50% for no radiation showed p-values of 0.03 and 0.06, respectively.

Conclusion: The authors propose that if negative surgical margins can be achieved, breast sarcoma should be managed by conservative surgery with postoperative irradiation to a microscopic tumoricidal dose (50 Gy) to the whole beast, and at least 60 Gy to the tumor bed. The decision to treat should be preceded by a preoperative multidisciplinary assessment. It is also recommended that an axillary lymph node dissection is not indicated, with the possible exception of patients with carcinosarcoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / surgery
  • Carcinosarcoma / mortality
  • Carcinosarcoma / radiotherapy
  • Carcinosarcoma / surgery
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mastectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm, Residual
  • Phyllodes Tumor / mortality
  • Phyllodes Tumor / radiotherapy
  • Phyllodes Tumor / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma / mortality
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Sarcoma / surgery*
  • Survival Analysis