Malignant and borderline phyllodes tumors of the breast: a multicenter study of 362 patients (KROG 16-08)

Noorie Choi, Kyubo Kim, Kyung Hwan Shin, Yumi Kim, Hyeong Gon Moon, Won Park, Doo Ho Choi, Su Ssan Kim, Seung Do Ahn, Tae Hyun Kim, Mison Chun, Yong Bae Kim, Suzy Kim, Byung Ock Choi, Jin Hee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify risk factors for local recurrence (LR) and investigate roles of adjuvant local therapy for malignant and borderline phyllodes tumors of the breast. Methods: From 1981 to 2014, 362 patients with malignant (n = 235) and borderline (n = 127) phyllodes tumors were treated by breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or total mastectomy (TM) at 10 centers. Thirty-one patients received adjuvant radiation therapy (RT), and those who received adjuvant chemotherapy were excluded from the study. Results: Median follow-up was 5 years. LR developed in 60 (16.6%) patients. Regional recurrence occurred in 2 (0.6%) patients and distant metastasis (DM) developed in 19 (5.2%) patients. Patients receiving BCS (p = 0.025) and those not undergoing adjuvant RT (p = 0.041) showed higher LR rates. For malignant subtypes, local control (LC) rates at 5 years for BCS alone, BCS with adjuvant RT, TM alone, and TM with adjuvant RT were 80.7, 93.3, 92.4, and 100%, respectively (p = 0.033). Multivariate analyses revealed BCS alone, tumor size ≥ 5 cm, and positive margins as independent risk factors for LR. Margin-positive BCS alone showed poorest LC regardless of tumor size (62.5%, p = 0.007). For margin-negative BCS alone, 5-year LC rates for tumors ≥ 5 cm versus those < 5 cm were 71.8% versus 89.5% (p = 0.012). For borderline subtypes, only positive margins (p = 0.044) independently increased the risk of LR. DM developed exclusively in malignant subtypes and a prior LR event increased the risk of DM by sixfold (HR 6.2, 95% CI 1.6–16.1, p = 0.001). Conclusions: Malignant and borderline phyllodes tumors with positive margins after surgery have high LR rates. After treatment by margin-negative BCS alone, patients with large malignant phyllodes tumors ≥ 5 cm also have heightened risk of LR. Thus, such patients should be considered for additional local therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Borderline phyllodes tumor
  • Breast neoplasm
  • Malignant phyllodes tumor
  • Recurrence
  • Risk factor


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