Background: While the survival of patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is dictated by the status of their distant metastases, local/regional control remains an important component of quality of life. We have sought to determine patterns of local/regional recurrence (LRR) in patients presenting with inflammatory breast cancer.

Methods: The medical records of 92 patients (pts) diagnosed with IBC from 1997 until 2007 were reviewed. Pt cohorts were stratified by disease burden at presentation (metastatic or local/regional) and their tumor, treatment, and disease course were analyzed. Primary outcomes were time from diagnosis to LRR, time to distant recurrence, and overall survival (OS). Median follow-up (MFU) for the entire cohort was 6 years (yrs) (range 0.1 to 12.7 yrs); for those patients who presented with metastatic disease versus only local/regional disease, MFU is 2 yrs and 6 yrs, respectively. This study was approved by the hospital institutional review board.

Results: Median age at diagnosis was 49 yrs (range 24 to 72). 68 (74%) patients were without evidence of metastatic disease on presentation. With 6yr MFU, 40/68 (59%) had disease recurrence at either local or distant sites, and 15/68 (22%) had documented LRR, either as the first or subsequent site of recurrence. Estimated 5yr OS is 64%.

24 (26%) pts presented with metastatic disease (lung, liver, distant lymph nodes, pleura). All of the 24 pts presenting with metastatic disease developed systemic disease progression; 12/24 (50%) also developed LRR, and for 9/12 pts the LRR was first progression or concurrent with distant progression. Eleven of the 24 pts did not receive radiation or surgery; and within this cohort, 7 (64%) pts developed LLR at a median time of 9 months after diagnosis. Six pts received radiation therapy without surgery; 3/6 (50%) developed LRR. One pt had surgery alone; this patient was not known to have LRR, although had limited follow-up. Six pts received radiation therapy and surgery; 1 for palliation and 5 to prevent LRR. Of these 5 pts, 1/5 (20%) developed LRR that extended to the contralateral breast at 1.2y after diagnosis. Among the 24 patients, the cumulative incidence of LRR was 29%, 37%, and 43% at 1yr, 2yr, and 3yr (accounting for competing risk of death). The median OS was 2.9 yrs and estimated 5yr OS was 36%.

Conclusions: Pts with inflammatory breast carcinoma presenting with metastatic disease are at high risk for local/regional disease progression. Aggressive local therapy should be considered to prevent symptoms of uncontrolled local disease, despite an uncertain impact upon OS.

Citation Information: Cancer Res 2012;72(24 Suppl):Abstract nr P3-10-06.