Significance of primary lesion resection in Stage IV breast cancer

Tadahiko Shien, Hiroji Iwata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Primary breast tumor resection is not recommended with metastatic disease due to lack of evidence indicating prognostic benefit. Results from ongoing trials are needed to test tumor resection efficacy.Abstract: Systemic treatment with drugs is administered to prolong survival and palliate symptoms in Stage IV breast cancer patients who have distant metastases at diagnosis. Surgical procedures for the primary tumor are not actively recommended in guidelines due to lack of evidence indicating prognostic benefit. Recently, several retrospective studies have shown primary tumor resection to prolong overall survival in patients with Stage IV breast cancer. Prospective randomized trials began enrolling patients to examine this possibility and two have already reported results. However, the results of these two trials were discordant. The first trial, conducted in India, reported negative effects of primary tumor resection after primary systemic therapy. A Turkish trial then obtained a positive effect of surgery as primary treatment. Several questions regarding the effects, timing, methods and eligibility for primary surgery have yet to be answered. Robust evidence, which is anticipated from other ongoing trials examining surgery for metastatic breast cancer, is eagerly awaited.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberhyx027
Pages (from-to)381-384
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese journal of clinical oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • Prognosis
  • Stage IV breast cancer
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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