Patients with later stage nonmetastatic triple receptor-negative breast tumors have a significantly increased early incidence of brain metastase, according to a retrospective study published in the Annals of Oncology. Researchers studied 679 patients with nonmetastatic triple receptor-negative breast cancer diagnosed from 1980 to 2006. Other factors—race, age, menopausal status, and grade of disease—were not signiﬁcantly associated with the development of brain metastases. Of the 679:
• 145 (21.4%) were stage 1; 339 (49.9%) were stage 2; and 195 (28.7%) were stage 3.
• 87.3 percent had chemo either before or after surgery.
Median follow-up was 26.9 months. The results:
• 42 (6.2%) of the TNBC patients developed brain metastases —5.6% at 2 years and 9.6% at 5 years.
• 89.5 % of these had stage 3 disease.
• Median survival for all patients who developed brain metastases was 2.9 months.
• Median survival for patients who developed brain metastases as the first site of recurrence was 5.8 months.
Call me a Pollyanna, but I can’t help pointing out that this means that more than 90 percent of those studied DID NOT get brain metastases.
SOURCE: Dawood, S., Broglio, K., Esteva, F. J., Yang, W., Kau, S. . W., Islam, R., Albarracin, C., Yu, T. K., Green, M., Hortobagyi, G. N., and Gonzalez-Angulo, A. M. Survival among women with triple receptor-negative breast cancer and brain metastases. Annals of Oncology, 20(4):621-627.