This study was designed to compare outcome in terms of disease-free survival (DFS) in women with histologically negative axillary lymph nodes and documented low proliferative rate cancer to other well-defined prognostic factors including type of adjuvant treatment. Between 1988 and 1998, we studied 669 patients with invasive node-negative breast cancer up to 5 cm in size and low proliferative rate measured by flow cytometry to determine S-phase fraction (SPF) or by histochemistry (Ki67/MIB1). At a median follow-up of 53 months, 5-year DFS for the entire group was 94% and did not differ significantly by type of systemic adjuvant treatment: none (133 patients, 95% DFS), tamoxifen (441 patients, 94% DFS), or chemotherapy with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (95 patients, 92% DFS). In a multivariate prognostic factor analysis, only tumor size was significant; 5-year DFS was 96% for T1N0 cancer versus 89% for T2N0 cancer (P = 0.01). We have prospectively confirmed that a low rate of proliferation as measured by SPF or MIB1 determination confers an excellent prognosis in invasive node-negative breast cancer up to 5 cm in size, regardless of adjuvant treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research