Breast Cancer Coverage From Every Angle
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ASBrS 2017: Surgical Resection of Primary Tumors in Stage IV Breast Cancer

According to Lane et al, of Duke University Medical Center, surgery of the primary tumor in women with stage IV breast cancer seems to be associated with improved survival. They found that the sequence of treatment impacts outcomes, with a survival advantage with surgery following systemic therapy. These findings were presented at the recent American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) Annual Meeting (Abstract 257375) in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, the investigators cautioned, treatment of these patients should involve multidisciplinary teams to maximize the benefits and minimize harm.

More than 24,000 women diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in the National Cancer Database were identified from 2003 to 2012. Approximately 25% underwent surgery after systemic therapy, nearly 20% had surgery before systemic therapy, and about 55% received systemic therapy alone. The median overall survival differed by treatment sequence: 52.8 months for surgery following systemic therapy, 49.4 months for surgery first, and 37.5 months for systemic therapy alone (log-rank P<.001).