Surgical treatment of phyllodes tumors of the breast

Cancer. 1989 Jun 15;63(12):2532-6. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19890615)63:12<2532::aid-cncr2820631229>;2-q.


Eighty-one female patients with phyllodes tumors of the breast, surgically treated from 1974 to 1983, were studied. Their age ranged from 9 to 88 years. According to histology, the series was divided into three groups, of 28 (34.5%) benign tumors, 32 (39.5%) border-line tumors, and 21 (25.9%) malignant tumors. Because ten patients were lost to follow-up, only 71 women could be evaluated. All the patients had received surgical treatment: 51 women had been treated conservatively (11 enucleations, 40 wide resections), and 20 had undergone radical operations (13 underwent total and five underwent subcutaneous mastectomies, whereas one underwent modified and one underwent radical mastectomy). The mean follow-up, for the three groups, was 106 months for benign, 84 months for borderline, and 82 months for malignant tumors; in no case was radical surgery followed by local recurrence: of 51 women conservatively treated, 14 experienced local relapse, i.e., one of 24 women with benign, ten of 22 with borderline, and three of 8 with malignant lesions. Only two of 47 patients (4.2%) with borderline or malignant tumors developed distant metastasis and died from disease. No relationship between tumor size and risk of local recurrence could be demonstrated, and no difference could be identified between borderline and malignant lesions, in terms both of local and distant relapse. Local recurrences do not appear to affect survival: as a consequence, wide resection should be the primary treatment. Enucleation is to be proscribed. Total mastectomy has been indicated for very large tumors and for local recurrences of borderline and malignant lesions. Axillary dissection is not worthwhile.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Mastectomy / methods
  • Mastectomy, Subcutaneous
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Phyllodes Tumor / pathology
  • Phyllodes Tumor / surgery*
  • Reoperation