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Tubular breast carcinoma: An argument against treatment de-escalation


  • CJ Hansen MBBS; L Kenny MBBS FRANZCR FRACR; SR Lakhani MD FRCPA; O Ung MBBS FRACS; J Keller B Bus (HIM); L Tripcony BSc (Stats); R Cheuk BM, BS FRACR; M Grogan MBBS FRANZCR; AC Vargas MD; J Martin MB ChB FRANZCR.

  • Conflict of interests: None.

Dr Carmen J Hansen, Radiation Oncology Fellow, Breast Service, Department of Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Locked Bag 1, A'Beckett Street, Melbourne, Vic. 8006, Australia. Email:


Purpose: To evaluate the role of adjuvant radiotherapy in management of patients with tubular carcinoma of the breast.

Methods: One hundred seventy-eight patients treated for tubular carcinoma were identified from the Queensland Radium Institute database. A retrospective review of medical records identified 115 patients meeting eligibility criteria: breast-conserving surgery for a histological diagnosis of tubular carcinoma, minimum follow up of 12 months and adequate medical records.

Results: Median follow up was 64 months. There were no significant differences between patient characteristics treated with and without radiotherapy. Median age at diagnosis was 54 (36–78) years. Ninety-five percent tumours were T1 and four patients had positive axillary lymph nodes. Of 94 patients treated with adjuvant radiotherapy, one developed local relapse. Five of 21 patients who did not have adjuvant radiotherapy failed locally. Five-year relapse-free survival with and without radiotherapy was 100 and 89%, respectively (hazard ratio for radiotherapy: 0.06; 95% confidence interval 0.01–0.32, P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Radiotherapy has a significant impact on relapse-free survival in patients treated with breast-conserving surgery for tubular carcinoma.