(1) To examine the effect of surgical margin status on local recurrence (LR) and survival following breast-conserving therapy; (2) To identify subsets with close or positive margins with high LR risk despite whole breast radiotherapy (RT) plus boost.
Subjects were 2,264 women with pT1-3, any N, M0 invasive breast cancer, treated with breast-conserving surgery and whole breast ± boost RT. Five-year Kaplan-Meier (KM) LR, breast cancer-specific and overall survival (BCSS and OS) were compared between cohorts with negative (n = 1,980), close (n = 222), and positive (n = 62) margins. LR rates were analyzed according to clinicopathologic characteristics. Multivariable Cox regression modeling and matched analysis of close/positive margin cases and negative margin controls were performed.
Median follow-up was 5.2 years. Boost RT was used in 92% of patients with close or positive margins. Five-year KM LR rates in the negative, close and positive margin cohorts were 1.3%, 4.0%, and 5.2%, respectively (p = 0.001). BCSS and OS were similar in the three margin subgroups. In the close/positive margin cohort, LR rates were 10.2% with age 10% despite whole breast plus boost RT. These patients should be considered for more definitive surgery.