Patterns of Metastasis and Survival in Breast Cancer Patients: A Preliminary Study in an Iranian Population


Due to lack of sufficient data on characteristics of breast cancer patients and risk factors for developing metastasis in Iran this study was designed to understand clinical aspects impacting on survival. A cross-sectional study on breast cancer patients was conducted in an oncology clinic of the university hospital between 1995 and 2010. Data were retrieved from medical records and included age, menopausal status, tumor diameter, number of involved nodes, histopathological type, estrogen and progesterone receptor expression, c-erbB-2, primary and secondary metastasis sites, overall survival, disease free interval and type of chemotherapy protocol. The results were analyzed with SPSS 13 software.The mean age of the patients was 49.2 (27-89) years. The primary tumors were mainly ER positive (48%) and PR negative (49.3%). The status of lymph nodes dissected and examined in these patients was unknown in 19 patients (25.3%) while 18 patients (24%) had positive lymph nodes with no report on the number of involved nodes. All of the patients had received antracyclin based chemotherapy in an adjuvant or metastatic setting. Adjuvant hormonal therapy was administered to receptor positive patients. In average, overall survival after recurrence was 30 months (95%CI 24.605-35.325) for non-skeletal versus 42 months (95%CI 31.211-52.789) for skeletal metastasis (P= 0.002). The median survival was also greater for receptor positive patients; 39 months (95%CI 33.716-44.284) for PR+ versus 26 months (95%CI 19.210-32.790) for PR- (P=0.047) and 38 months (95%CI 32.908-43.092) for ER+ versus 27 months (95%CI 18.780-35.220) for ER- patients (P=0.016). No relation was found between site of first metastasis and hormone receptor, age, tumor diameter, DFI and menopausal status. Sites of metastasis were independent of age, size of the tumor, menopausal and hormone receptor status in this study. Overall survival provided significant relations with respect to receptor status and bone metastasis.