The rates of local and regional recurrence in young patients with early-stage breast cancer are relatively low and may vary by biomarker subtype, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Researchers led by Kim Aalders, MD, of the Diakonessenhuis in the Netherlands looked at 1000 women older than 35 years who had undergone surgery for primary unliteral invasive breast cancer between 2003 and 2008 through the Netherlands Cancer Registry.

Patients were categorized according to biomarker subtypes on the basis of hormone receptor (HR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) statuses, and 5-year risks for developing local recurrence and regional lymph node recurrence were estimated with Kaplan-Meier statistics.

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They found that overall 5-year local recurrence was 3.5% while regional recurrence was 3.7%. There was a decreasing trend for both rates over time which was accompanied by a significant decrease in the risk of distant metastases.

In 2003, local recurrence occurred in 4.2% of patients, regional recurrence occurred in 6.1% of patients, and distant metastases in 17.8% of patients, while in 2008 they occurred in 3.2%, 4.4% and 10% of patients, respectively.

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Differences were found to be borderline significant when analyzed for the entire study period and leveled off after the introduction of trastuzumab after 2005. Type of surgery performed, whether breast-conserving or mastectomy, were not found to influence rates of local or regional recurrence.


  1. Aalders KC, Postma EL, van Dalen T, et al. Contemporary locoregional recurrence rates in young patients with early-stage breast cancer [published online ahead of print March 14, 2016]. J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.64.3536.