Patient population analysis in EORTC trial 22881/10882 on the role of a booster dose in breast-conserving therapy
Ptaszynski, A × Van den Bogaert, Walter Van Glabbeke, M Pierart, M Bartelink, H Horiot, J C Fourquet, A Struikmans, H Hamers, H Müller, R P #
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) vol:30A issue:14 pages:2073-81
The changing composition of the patient population in breast cancer, which has been reported over the last decade, has important consequences for prognosis. In the present trial, an analysis of the population in an EORTC trial (22881/10882) on breast-conserving therapy was conducted. A shift towards earlier stages has been seen stage per stage, therefore better survival and local control rates are likely to be expected in comparison to previously published series. The majority of tumours in this trial were small, with a median clinical size of 2 cm and a median pathological size of 1.5 cm. A substantial number of lesions were detected in a pre-clinical stage (17.8%). Nodal involvement was present in only 19% of all patients and usually in only a low number of nodes (only 4% of all patients had four or more nodes invaded). The median number of nodes examined was 12, the difference between institutions was large. There was a significant correlation between the number of nodes examined, the percentage of patients with positive nodes (P = 0.03) and the percentage of patients with massive axillary invasion (P = 0.003). The correlation between clinical evidence and pathological invasion of the axillary nodes showed that 15% of the clinical examinations were false-negative and 51% were false-positive. Pathological nodal invasion could be clinically predicted in only 31% of patients, and consequently clinical examination of the axilla was a poor predictor of prognosis in this study. Pathological invasion of axillary lymph nodes was better correlated to pathological tumour size than clinical or radiological size.