Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Metastatic Sites and Survival Outcomes Among Patients With Advanced Breast Cancer

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2020

For patients with advanced (stage IV) breast cancer, the location of distant metastasis can greatly impact clinicopathologic characteristics and survival outcomes, according to findings published in BMC Cancer. Patients with bone metastasis, for instance, have a much better prognosis than those with brain metastasis, noted Ru Wang, MD, of The John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and colleagues.

“The metastatic sites should be taken into consideration when making therapeutic strategies for patients with advanced cancer,” the authors concluded. “This knowledge is useful for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer patients in this era of individualized therapy.”

In this study, the investigators used the patient data of 18,322 people diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Patients with bone-only metastasis were the largest subgroup (39.8%), followed by patients with multiple metastases (33.1%), lung metastasis (10.9%), liver metastasis (7.3%), other sites of metastasis (7.3%), and brain metastasis (1.5%). For all study patients, the median survival after diagnosis was 26.0 months.

Based on the Kaplan-Meier plot, the authors found that patients with bone metastasis exhibited the best survival outcomes, with a 3-year overall survival rate of 50.5% and a 3-year breast cancer–specific survival rate of 76.6%. Conversely, patients with brain metastasis had the worst reported survival outcomes in both 3-year breast cancer–specific survival (50.6%) and 3-year overall survival (19.9%).

Among the other subgroups, the 3-year overall survival rate was 41.9% for patients with other sites of metastasis, 38.2% for those with liver metastasis, 37.5% for patients with lung metastasis, and 27.4% for those with multiple metastases. The 3-year breast cancer–specific survival rate for liver metastasis was 67.1%; for lung metastasis, 66.1%; for other sites of metastasis, 65.3%; and for multiple metastases, 62.6%.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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