Background: The study addresses the controversial prognostic and therapeutic aspects of phyllodes tumor of the breast.
Methods: Records of 170 women with phyllodes tumor of the breast were reviewed. On the basis of the criteria proposed by Azzopardi and Salvadori et al., including estimation of tumor margin, growth of the connective tissue component, mitoses, and cellular atypia, the entire series was divided into three histotypes of phyllodes tumor, i.e., benign (92 cases, 54.1%), borderline (19 cases, 11.2%), and malignant (59 cases, 34.7%). Ninety-eight patients (57.6%) were treated by wide local excision (79 benign, 15 borderline, and 4 malignant), 43 (25.3%) by simple mastectomy (13 benign, 4 borderline, and 26 malignant), and 29 (17.1%) by radical mastectomy (all malignant).
Results: Of the 170 treated patients, 141 (82.9%) survived 5 years without evidence of disease. In the Cox multivariate analysis the histotype of the tumor was the only independent prognostic factor: 5-year NED survival was observed in 95.7% of the patients with benign phyllodes tumor, 73.7% with borderline phyllodes tumor, and 66.1% with malignant phyllodes tumor. After a wide local excision 98.7% of the patients with benign tumor, and 80% with borderline tumor, were cured. Local recurrence was found in 14 patients (8.2%) (4 benign, 3 borderline, and 7 malignant); 10 of these underwent reoperation (7 wide local excision, 3 radical mastectomy) and survived 5 years NED.
Conclusions: The histotype of phyllodes tumor (benign, borderline, and malignant), assessed on the basis of the criteria proposed by Azzopardi and Salvadori et al., was the only prognostic factor in our group of patients. Based on the data from literature and our own observations, we observed that a wide local excision, with an adequate margin of normal breast tissue, is the preferred initial therapy for phyllodes tumor of the breast.