Local recurrence after mastectomy in patients with T3pN0 breast carcinoma treated without postoperative radiation therapy

John E. Mignano, Irene Gage, Steven Piantadosi, Xiaobu Ye, Gregory Henderson, William C. Dooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The need for comprehensive adjuvant radiotherapy in patients with T3pN0 breast cancer is controversial. This retrospective analysis was performed to assess the frequency of local and distant recurrence in patients treated with mastectomy without postoperative radiation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A single institution database of 2362 patients with breast carcinoma treated from 1974 to 1994 yielded 101 patients who had T3pN0 disease and did not receive chest wall or nodal irradiation. The median follow-up time was 93 months (range, 10-256 months). Sites of first failure were categorized as isolated chest wall (CWF), regional lymph nodes (RNF, which in this case were considered to be either axillary or supraclavicular), or distant sites (DF). CWF and/or RNF were considered local recurrences. Patients with simultaneous CWF and DF or RNF and DF were scored as DF. A comparison was made to 286 T2pN0 patients, also treated between 1974 and 1994. RESULTS: Twenty-two T3N0 patients developed recurrent disease. Site of first recurrence was isolated local recurrence in 11 patients and distant in 11 patients. Four patients had simultaneous local and distant recurrences. Site of isolated local recurrence was CWF in 5 patients and RNF in 6 patients. Median tumor size was 6 cm (range, 5-10.5 cm). There was no difference in local recurrence for tumor sizes ≤7 cm versus >7 cm (P = 0.07). The crude recurrence rate for T3pN0 patients treated by mastectomy was similar to T2pN0 patients treated in similar fashion (P = 0.3). CONCLUSION: The risk of isolated local recurrence in patients with T3pN0 breast cancer and negative margins is moderately low and similar to T2pN0 patients. These results suggest that routine use of postoperative chest wall and nodal irradiation in all T3pN0 patients may not be required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-472
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Chest wall recurrence
  • Mastectomy
  • Postmastectomy radiation
  • Radiation therapy
  • T3 breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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