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The American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Outcomes for Women with Minimal-Volume Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Completely Excised at Core Biopsy

Shirin Muhsen MD, Andrea V. Barrio MD, Megan Miller MD, Cristina Olcese BS, Sujata Patil PhD, Monica Morrow MD, FACS, Kimberly J. Van Zee MS, MD, FACS
Breast Oncology
Volume 24, Issue 13 / December , 2017



Overdiagnosis and overtreatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are concerns, especially for women with low-volume, screen-detected DCIS. This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes for such patients.


Women who had minimal-volume DCIS (mDCIS, defined as DCIS diagnosed by core biopsy but with no residual disease on the surgical excision) treated with breast-conserving surgery from 1990 to 2011 were identified. Ipsilateral and contralateral breast events (IBE and CBE) were compared by competing-risk (CR) analysis. Kaplan–Meier (KM) estimates and log-rank tests were used to evaluate covariates.


The study identified 290 cases of mDCIS. The median age of the patients was 53 years. Radiation therapy (RT) was performed for 27.6% and endocrine therapy for 16.2% of the patients. The median follow-up period was 6.8 years. Overall, the IBE rates were 4.3% at 5 years and 12.3% at 10 years. Among the women not receiving RT, the 5- and 10-year IBE rates (5.4 and 14.5%) were higher than the CBE rates (1.8 and 2.7%). Among those receiving RT, the IBE rates (1.5 and 6.0%) were lower than the CBE rates (4.1 and 15.6%). The women receiving RT trended toward significantly lower IBE rates (p = 0.07). Age, grade, and endocrine therapy were not significantly associated with IBE risk.


Among the patients with mDCIS who did not receive RT, the IBE risk was substantially higher than the CBE risk, demonstrating that even DCIS of very low volume is associated with clinically relevant disease. The finding that the IBE risk was greater than the CBE risk supports current strategies that treat DCIS as a precursor rather than a risk marker. Women with mDCIS are not at negligible risk for IBE in the absence of adjuvant therapy.

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