BACKGROUND: Sentinel lymph node biopsy was implemented in the treatment of early breast cancer with the aim of reducing shoulder and arm morbidity. Relatively few prospective studies have been published where the morbidity was assessed by clinical examination. Very few studies have examined the impact on shoulder mobility of node positive patients having a secondary axillary dissection because of the findings of metastases postoperatively. AIM: We aimed to investigate the objective and subjective arm morbidity in node negative and node positive patients. METHODS AND MATERIALS: In a prospective study, 395 patients with tumors less than 4 cm, were included. Patients were recruited from seven Danish breast cancer clinics. Both subjective and objective arm and shoulder morbidity were measured before, 6 and 18 months after the operation. RESULTS: Comparing node negative patients having a sentinel lymph node biopsy with node negative patients having a lymph node dissection of levels I and II of the axilla, we found significant increase in arm volume among the patients who had an axillary dissection. Only minor, but significant, differences in shoulder mobility were observed comparing the two groups of node negative patients. Highly significant difference was found comparing sensibility. Comparing the morbidity in node positive patients who had a one-step axillary dissection with patients having a two-step procedure (sentinel lymph node biopsy followed by delayed axillary dissection) revealed no difference in objective or subjective arm morbidity. CONCLUSION: Node negative patients operated with sentinel lymph node biopsy have less arm morbidity compared with node negative patients operated with axillary lymph node dissection. Node positive patients who had a secondary axillary lymph node dissection after sentinel lymph node biopsy had no difference in either objective or subjective morbidity compared with node positive patients having a one-step axillary dissection.
BACKGROUND: Randomised studies have shown that breast conserving surgery followed by radiotherapy is associated with a prognosis similar to mastectomy alone. This formed the basis for recommending breast conserving surgery combined with radiotherapy as a standard treatment for suited breast cancer patients in Denmark. PATIENTS AND METHODS: To evaluate the results of this treatment, we performed a nationwide population-based follow-up study of patients aged less than 75 years treated in Denmark from 1989 to 1998 based on the database of Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group. RESULTS: At 15 years of follow-up, the Kaplan-Meier estimate of overall survival was 69% among 3 758 patients who received the recommended treatment. Within the first 10 years of follow-up, the cumulative incidences of loco-regional recurrences, distant metastases or other malignant disease, or death as a first event were 9.0, 19.9, and 6.0% respectively, when analysed in a competing risk setting. The risk of loco-regional recurrences was significantly decreased in patients aged 50 years or more and increased with increasing tumour size. There was a pronounced beneficial effect of adjuvant radiotherapy with those not receiving radiotherapy having a hazard ratio of 3.52 (95% CI 2.21-5.61). The effect of resection margins was significant for loco-regional recurrences only in node negative patients. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the present study shows that results similar to those from randomised clinical trials can be obtained when breast conserving treatment is applied as a standard treatment in an entire population.
DBCG (Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group) constitutes a multidisciplinary organization established in 1975 by the Danish Surgical Society. The purpose involves first and foremost a nation-wide standardization of breast cancer treatment based on novel therapeutic principles, collaboration between experts handling diagnostic work-up, surgery, radiotherapy, medical oncology, and basic research, and, further, complete registration of relevant clinical data in a national data base attached to DBCG. Data are processed by the Secretariat personnel composed of statisticians, data managers, and data secretaries making current analyses of outcome results feasible. DBCG is run by the Executive Committee consisting of expert members appointed by their respective society. From 1978 the DBCG project gained widely accession from participating units, and since then nearly all newly diagnosed breast cancer incident cases are reported and registered in the national data base. Today, the data base includes approximately 80 000 incidents of primary breast cancer. Annually, the Secretariat receives roughly 1.5 million parameters to be entered into the data base. Over time DBCG has generated seven treatment programmes including in situ lesions and primary invasive breast cancer. Probands are subdivided into risk groups based on a given risk pattern and allocated to various treatment programmes accordingly. The scientific initiatives are conducted in the form of register- and cohort analysis or randomized trials in national or international protocolized settings. Yearly, about 4 000 new incident cases of primary invasive breast cancer and about 200 in situ lesions enter the national programmes. Further, about 600 women with hereditary disposition of breast cancer are registered and evaluated on a risk scale. The main achievements resulted in a reduction of relative risk of death amounting up to 20% and increased 5-year overall survival ascending from 60% to roughly 80%. This article is partly based on a Danish paper to be published in the Centenary Jubilee book of the Danish Surgical Society, 2008.
BACKGROUND: We have initiated a clinical database of patients with neuroendocrine tumours (n = 132). Data on patients with well-differentiated endocrine carcinoma (WHO classification) previous classified as midgut carcinoid patients, are presented. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospectively, 56 patients with midgut carcinoid tumours were evaluated with respect to symptoms, primary tumour size, metastases, tumour markers, treatment and survival. RESULTS: Flushing was described in 29%, diarrhoea in 52%, abdominal pain in 34%, bronchial constriction in 2% and carcinoid heart disease in 4% of the patients. Fifty-two percent had liver metastases at referral. Twenty-seven percent were considered to have had radical surgery. Patients not considered for radical surgery and patients with liver metastases had significantly higher tumour marker levels (serum chromogranin A (CgA), serum serotonin and urinary 5-hydroxyindolic acid (5-HIAA)) compared to radically-operated patients and to patients without liver metastases (p
BACKGROUND: The validation series of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) in the treatment of breast cancer have shown that 10-20% more lymph node metastases are detected. However, their impact has never been studied in populations where the method has been fully implemented. In a population-based setting, the objective of the current study was to estimate the increased risk of metastases after introduction of the sentinel lymph node biopsy technique. METHODS: We identified all new breast cancer patients in three different counties in two time periods (1996-1997 and 2002-2003). The study cohort was comprised of 2 932 patients. The main outcome was the frequency of patients with metastases. The frequencies of patients with metastases were compared as well as adjusted (using a multivariate logistic regression) and unadjusted odds-ratio for detecting lymph node metastases. RESULTS: In counties where sentinel lymph node biopsy was implemented, the frequency of patients with lymph node metastases increased significantly 7.3% (95% CI: 1.0-13.7%) and 13.3% (95% CI: 7.3-19.3%), respectively. In the county without sentinel lymph node biopsy, an insignificant increase of 6.9% (-0.1-13.9%) in the frequency of patients with metastases was seen. The adjusted odds- ratio for detecting lymph node metastases was 1.41 (1.07-1.87) and 1.70 (1.30-2.23) in the counties with SLNB. Conclusion: The frequency of patients with metastases increased significantly in counties where sentinel lymph node biopsy was implemented.
AIM: To investigate health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a nationally representative sample of long-term breast cancer survivors (BCS) in Denmark. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: An age-stratified random sample of 2,000 female BCS >/= 5 years after primary surgery without recurrence was drawn from the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group register, which is representative regarding long-term BCS in Denmark, and compared with 3,104 women of the nationally representative Danish Health and Morbidity Survey 2000. The Short Form-36 questionnaire assessed HRQOL and its association with BCS' sociodemography, type of surgery, systemic therapy, radiotherapy, time since operation, receptor status, and low/high risk protocol. RESULTS: The response rate was 79%. BCS tended to rate HRQOL better than the general female population. BCS reported significantly less "bodily pain" (P
INTRODUCTION: Since 30 years DBCG (Danish Breast Cancer Coperative Group) has maintained, on a nation-wide basis, a clinical database of diagnostic procedures, therapeutic interventions, and clinical outcome in patients with primary breast cancer. The present analysis was undertaken to evaluate the development of the prognosis since 1977, and to analyse factors potentially contributing to the change of the prognosis. MATERIAL AND METHODS: All cases of invasive breast cancer reported to DBCG during the period 1977-2006 were included in the present analysis. RESULTS: A total of close to 80 000 patients were registered in the DBCG Database. Since 1977 the prognosis has improved significantly, thus 5 year survival for the total population of patients with primary breast cancer has increased from 65 to 81%. DISCUSSION: According to the present analysis diagnosis at an earlier stage in the natural course of the disease and especially the development of more active systemic treatment modalities have contributed to the improved prognosis.
INTRODUCTION: Papillary microcarcinomas (PMC) of the thyroid gland are defined according to The WHO Committee as papillary carcinomas measuring 10 mm or less in diameter. A large proportion of these tumours are found coincidentally in the treatment of symptomatic goitre and most cases follow an indolent course with an excellent prognosis. However, a more aggressive behaviour with regional and distant metastases does occur. The aim of this study was to evaluate if the immunohistochemical markers cyclin D1 or galectin-3 might indicate the presence of metastatic disease in patients with PMC at the time of diagnosis. MATERIAL AND METHODS: From the 1(st) of January 1996 to 31(st) of December 2002 a total of 169 PMC patients were diagnosed and registered in the national Danish thyroid cancer database DATHYRCA and 131 of these were eligible for the study. Forty-three (33%) had histologically verified regional or distant metastases. Slides were cut from the primary tumour and immunostaining and quantification was subsequently performed. RESULTS: The percentage of positive cells was examined for patients with and without metastases. For cyclin D1 the median values were 31% (range: 0-59) and 21% (range: 0-75), respectively, showing a statistically significant difference (p=0.02). For galectin-3 the medians were 87% (range: 6-96) and 85% (range: 0-99) and no significant difference was found. CONCLUSION: Cyclin D1 showed significantly higher median expression in patients with metastases compared to those without, indicating a correlation to tumour aggressiveness. However, both groups showed large variation in expression, which disqualify the marker as a discriminator for the detection of metastases. Galectin-3 was without any significant correlation to the presence of metastases from PMC.
BACKGROUND: Lymphovascular invasion has been associated with poor prognosis in women with breast cancer, but it is unclear whether the presence of lymphovascular invasion should be considered sufficient to reclassify breast cancer patients who are at a low risk of recurrence into a high-risk category. METHODS: Of the 16,172 patients with operable breast cancer who were entered into the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group Registry from January 1, 1996, to December 31, 2002, lymphovascular invasion was classified at primary diagnosis in 16,121 patients as present (n = 2453, 15%) or as absent (n = 13,206, 82%). Patients with at least one of the risk criteria (positive lymph nodes, tumor size > 2 cm, high grade, hormone receptor-negative tumor, or younger than 35 years) were assigned to the high-risk group; the other patients were assigned to the low-risk group. All procedures, including report forms, central review, and querying, were specified in advance. Kaplan-Meier analyses were used to estimate disease-free intervals and overall survival rates among patients with and without lymphovascular invasion, and multivariable analysis was used to adjust for differences in baseline characteristics and therapy. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS: Complete follow-up was achieved for 15,659 patients. The median estimated potential follow-up was 6.4 years for invasive disease-free interval and 7.7 years for overall survival. Invasive disease-free interval and overall survival were statistically significantly associated with lymphovascular invasion within the high-risk group (hazard ratio [HR] for invasive disease = 2.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.14 to 2.45, P
Comment In: J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 May 20;101(10):698-919436037
The invasive disease free survival, the overall survival, and the relative risk of death compared to the Danish population as well as the risk of recurrence and new malignancies is reported for low-risk breast cancer patients of the DBCG 89-A programme. The study includes a comparison between those patients who, according to the present criteria, would be defined low-risk and those who would be defined high-risk (the retrospective lowhigh-risk group) and a comparison of treatment by mastectomy and BCS combined with radiation therapy. The DBCG 89-A programme scheduled 10 years of follow-up. Data was supplemented by record linkage to the Hospital Discharge Registry (date of event) and the Central Population Registry (date of death). The study population consisted of 8 850 patients. With 12 years of follow-up 3 811 events (43%) were recorded: loco-regional recurrence 8%, distant recurrence 11%, contralateral cancer 6%, secondary cancer 8%, and deaths 11%. The DBCG registry had an incomplete reporting of events in these low-risk patients, due to premature discontinuation of control. The incidence of recurrences was higher for the retrospective low --> high-risk group than for the low-risk group. The 10-year overall survival was 76%; lower in the retrospective low --> high-risk group (71%) than in the low-risk group (83%). The 5-year survival following local recurrence was 68% after mastectomy and 81% after BCS. The risk of mortality was higher than in the general population for all subgroups of patients. The relative risk of mortality expressed in terms of the standardized mortality ratio was 10.4 for young patients (26-39 years) and 1.2 for old patients aged 70-74 years and 1.3 for patients in the retrospective low-risk group and 1.9 for patients in the low --> high-risk group. The loco-regional treatment given did not cure all patients, in particular young patients and those of the retrospective low --> high-risk group.