Local Recurrence of Benign, Borderline, and Malignant Phyllodes Tumors of the Breast: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Ann Surg Oncol. 2019 May;26(5):1263-1275. doi: 10.1245/s10434-018-07134-5. Epub 2019 Jan 7.


Background: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to investigate local recurrence (LR) rates among the three grades (benign, borderline, and malignant) of phyllodes tumors (PTs). The study also assessed various risk factors for LR.

Methods: Electronic articles published between 1 January 1995 and 31 May 2018, were searched and critically appraised. The authors independently reviewed the abstracts and extracted data for LR rates and LR risk factors.

Results: The review incorporated 54 studies with 9234 individual cases. The pooled LR rates were 8% for benign, 13% for borderline, and 18% for malignant PTs. The risk of LR was significantly increased by borderline versus benign PTs (odds ratio [OR] 2.00; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.68-2.38) and malignant versus borderline PTs (OR 1.28; 95% CI 1.05-1.55). The significant risk factors for LR were mitoses, tumor border (infiltrating vs. pushing), stromal cellularity (moderate/severe vs. mild), stromal atypia (severe vs. mild/absent), stromal overgrowth (severe vs. mild/absent), and tumor necrosis (positive vs. negative). Age and tumor size were not associated with LR risk. The subgroup analysis showed that breast-conserving surgery versus mastectomy and positive versus negative surgical margins were significantly associated with an increased LR risk only in malignant PTs.

Conclusions: The risk of LR was significantly increased from benign to borderline to malignant PTs. Mitoses, tumor border, stromal cellularity, stromal atypia, stromal overgrowth, tumor necrosis, type of surgery, and surgical margin status may be risk factors for LR. Different management strategies could be considered for different PT grades.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / etiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Phyllodes Tumor / complications
  • Phyllodes Tumor / pathology*
  • Risk Factors