Background: Invasion of breast cancer cells into blood and lymphatic vessels is one of the most important steps for metastasis. In this study the prognostic relevance of lymphangiogenesis and lymphovascular invasion (LVI) in breast cancer patients was evaluated in terms of survival. Materials and
Methods: This retrospective study concerned 518 breast cancer patients who were treated at Department of Surgical Oncology, Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Kolkata-700063, West Bengal, India, a reputed cancer centre and research institute of eastern India between January 2006 and December 2007.
Results: The median overall survival and disease free survival of the patients were 60 months and 54 months respectively. As per Log-rank test, pooroverall as well as disease free survival pattern was observed for LVI positive patients as compared with LVI negative patients (p<0.01). Also poor overall as well as disease free survival pattern was observed for perineural invasion (PNI) positive patients as compared to PNI negative patients (p<0.01).
Conclusions: From this study it is evident that LVI and PNI are strongly associated with outcome in terms of disease free as well as overall survival in breast cancer patients. Thus LVI and PNI constitute potential targets for treatment of breast cancer patients. We advocate incorporating their status into breast cancer staging systems.