With Breast-Conserving Surgery, Margin Status Not a Factor in Recurrence

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In a chart review of 754 early-stage breast cancer patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery, margin status did not impact risk of locoregional recurrence or breast cancer-specific survival, though it did predict for overall survival, as did numerous other factors. Tumor biology remained the most significant determinant of outcome, Jared Forrester, MD, and investigators from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee reported.1 The research was presented recently at the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco.

Margin status was defined as negative when there was ≥ 2 mm between the tumor and the surrounding tissue excised, close when there was < 2 mm, and positive when there was tumor
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Margin status was not significantly associated with locoregional recurrence, which was observed in 28 patients. Increased risk was conferred by tumor grade 3 (7.5-fold) and no radiotherapy (6.7-fold), Dr. Forrester reported.

Breast cancer subtype was significantly associated with breast cancer-specific survival and was highest for patients with luminal A tumors. Risk was increased for basal (22.5-fold), luminal B (19.9-fold), and HER2-positive (16.5-fold) tumors, as well as for tumors of unknown subtype (6.7-fold). Margin status was not significant.

Overall survival for the population was 92%, and many factors were predictive: margin status, age, race, nodal status, chemotherapy, anti-endocrine therapy, and radiation. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Forrester reported no potential conflicts of interest.


1. Forrester J, Currey AD, Tuyishi B, et al: The effect of margin status and molecular subtype on women with invasive breast cancer treated with breast-conservation therapy. 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium. Abstract 83. Presented September 4, 2014.