In the Journal of Clinical Pathology this week, UK researchers report on the prognostic significance of early stage lymph node positivity in operable invasive breast carcinoma. The team based its study on a series of 3,491 consecutive operable breast cancer cases, which were given the standard treatment of care and then followed up on long term. They found that lymph node stages and absolute number of lymph nodes was associated with both breast cancer-specific survival and distant metastasis-free survival. "In the pN1 stage, patients with three positive lymph nodes show shorter breast cancer specific survival and shorter distant metastasis free survival when compared with one and/or two positive nodes," the authors write. "This effect is noted in the whole series as well as in different subgroups based on tumor size, histological grade, vascular invasion, and estrogen receptor status."
Also in the Journal of Clinical Pathology this week, researchers in Australia and Belgium report their molecular characterization of unusual subcutaneous spindle cell breast lesions. The team studied DNA copy-number alterations in a rare tumor called differentiating dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and found copy number changes on chromosome 1 and amplification of chromosome 7p. "This case of an unusual DFSP demonstrates that genomic interrogation provides additional potential targets such as a therapeutic avenue with anti-EGFR therapies and shows the power of molecular characterization of unusual tumors for a personalized medicine approach," the authors write.