Author(s): I Taylor, MA Mullee, R Carpenter, G Royle
AIM: Following wide local excision of breast cancer approximately 25% of patients have residual disease in the tumour bed. The aim of this study was to determine whether positive bed biopsy correlated with either local recurrence or overall survival.
METHOD: Following wide excision bed biopsies were taken at four separate sites from the tumour bed. Histopathological assessment of the bed biopsies was made and compared to features within the primary tumour. Patients were followed-up over a median period of 6.17 years and local recurrence and survival data documented.
RESULTS: Two hundred and sixty-eight patients were included in the study and 63 had positive bed biopsies. In all, 85 patients had a recurrence of breast cancer and 69 died. Kaplan-Meier plots showed no evidence of a difference in survival between bed biopsy positive and negative patients. Bed biopsy positive patients were at greater risk of local recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that positive bed biopsy is associated with an increase in local recurrence rates but has no effect on overall survival following wide excision of breast cancer.