Vol 26, No 4 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-03-30

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Prognostic factors for early relapse in non-metastatic triple negative breast cancer — real world data

Rita Félix Soares1, Ana Rita Garcia1, Ana Raquel Monteiro1, Filipa Macedo1, Tatiana Cunha Pereira1, Joana Cunha Carvalho1, António Pêgo1, Mónica Mariano1, Pedro Madeira1, Sara Póvoa1, Sofia Broco1, Teresa Carvalho1, Isabel Pazos1, Gabriela Sousa1
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2021;26(4):563-572.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) has the worst prognosis amongst all subtypes. Studies have shown that the achievement of pathologic complete response in the breast and axilla correlates with improved survival.

The aim of this study was to identify clinical or pathological features of real-life TNBC patients with a higher risk of early relapse.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Single-centre retrospective analysis of 127 women with TNBC, stage II-III, submitted to neoadjuvant treatment and surgery between January 2016 and 2020. Multivariate Cox regression analysis for disease free survival (DFS) at 2 years was performed and statistically significant variables were computed into a prognostic model for early relapse.

RESULTS: After 29 months of median follow-up, 105 patients (82.7%) were alive and, in total, 38 patients (29.9%) experienced recurrence. The 2-year DFS was 73% (95% CI: 21.3–22.7). In multivariate analysis, being submitted to neoadjuvant radiotherapy [HR 2.8 (95% CI: 1.2–6.4), p = 0.017] and not achieving pathologic complete response [HR 0.3 (95% CI: 0.1–1.7), p = 0.011] were associated with higher risk of recurrence. In our prognostic model, the presence of at least one of these variables defined a subgroup of patients with a worse 2-year DFS than those without these features (59% vs. 90%, p < 0.001, respectively). 

CONCLUSIONS: In this real-life non-metastatic TNBC cohort, neoadjuvant radiotherapy (performed due to insufficient clinical response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy or significant toxicity) impacted as an independent prognostic factor for relapse along with the absence of pathologic complete response identifying a subgroup of higher risk patients for early relapse that might merit a closer follow-up.

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