Purpose: To assess the benefit of breast surgery for inflammatory breast cancer.
Patients and methods: This retrospective series was based on 232 patients treated for inflammatory breast cancer. All patients received primary chemotherapy followed by either exclusive radiotherapy (118 patients, 51%) or surgery with or without radiotherapy (114 patients, 49%). The median follow-up was 11 years.
Results: The two groups were comparable apart from fewer tumors smaller than 70 mm (43% vs 33%, P=0.003), a higher rate of clinical stage N2 (15% vs 5%, P=0.04) and fewer histopathological grade 3 tumors (46% vs 61%, P<0.05) in the no-surgery group. The addition of surgery was associated with a significant improvement in locoregional disease control (P=0.04) but with no significant difference in overall survival rates or disease-free intervals. Late toxicities were not significantly different between the two treatment groups except for a higher rate of fibrosis in the no-surgery group (P<0.0001), and more lymphedema in the surgery group (P=0.002).
Conclusion: Our data suggest an improvement in locoregional control in patients treated by surgery, in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, for inflammatory breast cancer.
Copyright © 2011 Société française de radiothérapie oncologique (SFRO). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.