Original study| Volume 13, ISSUE 5, P335-343, October 2013

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Risk Factors for Locoregional Failure in Patients With Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treated With Trimodality Therapy



      To compare patterns of local and regional failure between patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and non-IBC in patients treated with trimodality therapy.

      Materials and Methods

      We reviewed records of 463 patients with stage II/III breast cancer, including IBC, who completed trimodality therapy from January 1999 to December 2009.


      The median follow-up was 46.3 months (range, 4-152 months). Clinical stage was 29.4% (n = 136) II, 56.4% (n = 261) non-IBC III, 14.2% (n = 66) IBC, 30.5% (n = 141) cN0/Nx, and 69.5% (n = 322) N1-N3c. All the patients received neoadjuvant therapy and mastectomy (98%, n = 456 with axillary dissection), and all had postmastectomy radiation therapy to the chest wall with or without supraclavicular nodes (82.5%, n = 382) with or without axilla (6%, n = 28). The median chest wall dose was 60.4 Gy. Patients with IBC presented with larger tumors (P < .001) and exhibited a poorer response to neoadjuvant therapy: after surgery, fewer patients with IBC were ypN0 (P = .003) and more had ≥ 4 positive nodes (P < .001). Four-year cumulative incidence of locoregional recurrence was 5.9%, with 25 locoregional events, 9 of which had a regional component. On multivariate analysis, triple-negative disease (hazard ratio [HR] 7.75, P < .0001) and residual pathologic nodes (HR 7.10, P < .001) were associated with an increased risk of locoregional recurrence, but IBC was not. However, on multivariate analysis, the 4-year cumulative incidence of regional recurrence specifically was significantly higher in IBC (HR 9.87, P = .005).


      In this cohort of patients who completed trimodality therapy, the patients with IBC were more likely to have residual disease in the axilla after neoadjuvant therapy and were at greater risk of regional recurrence. Future study should focus on optimizing regional nodal management in IBC.


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