At the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, press briefing moderator C. Kent Osborne, MD, Director of the Dan Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, predicted the findings of the study by Badwe et al could be practice-changing.
“This is not to say that we shouldn’t perform mastectomies in appropriate patients, but this trial would argue against doing it routinely in all patients with stage IV disease. Perhaps we should offer it only in patients for whom a large, infected mass will be a cosmetic problem on the chest wall,” he explained.
Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA, Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, told The ASCO Post, “I don’t think there is any evidence that we should be operating on people with primary tumors to improve their outcomes at this time. If you are doing it for local disease control, okay. But so far, [surgery on the primary for stage IV breast cancer] should only be done in the trial setting. And we need a more definitive trial.” ■
Disclosure: Drs. Osborne and Esserman reported no potential conflicts of interest.
Mastectomy is unnecessary in many women with stage IV breast cancer, according to a study from Indian investigators, reported at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1
The study randomly assigned 350 patients with metastatic breast cancer to mastectomy, complete axillary dissection, plus...