Contemporary Multi-Institutional Cohort of 550 Cases of Phyllodes Tumors (2007-2017) Demonstrates a Need for More Individualized Margin Guidelines

Laura H. Rosenberger, Samantha M. Thomas, Suniti N. Nimbkar, Tina J. Hieken, Kandice K. Ludwig, Lisa K. Jacobs, Megan E. Miller, Kristalyn K. Gallagher, Jasmine Wong, Heather B. Neuman, Jennifer Tseng, Taryn E. Hassinger, Tari A. King, James W. Jakub

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2 Scopus citations


PURPOSEPhyllodes tumors (PTs) are rare breast neoplasms, which have little granular data on margins. Current guidelines recommend ≥ 1 cm margins; however, recent data suggest narrower margins are sufficient, and for benign PT, a negative margin may not be necessary.METHODSWe performed an 11-institution contemporary (2007-2017) review of PT practices. Demographics, surgical, and histopathologic data were captured. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association of select covariates with local recurrence (LR).RESULTSOf 550 PT patients, the majority underwent excisional biopsy (55.3%, n = 302/546) or lumpectomy (wide excision) (38.5%, n = 210/546). Median tumor size was 30 mm, 68.9% (n = 379) were benign, 19.6% (n = 108) borderline, and 10.5% (n = 58) malignant. Surgical margins were positive in 42% (n = 231) and negative in 57.3% (n = 311). A second operation was performed in 38.0% (n = 209) of the total cohort, including 51 patients with an initial negative margin (82.4% with < 2 mm), and 157 with an initial positive margin, with residual disease only found in six (2.9%). Notably, 32.0% (n = 74) of those with an initial positive margin did not undergo a second operation, among whom only 2.7% (n = 2) recurred. Recurrence occurred in 3.3% (n = 18) of the total cohort (n = 15 LR, n = 3 distant), at median follow-up of 36.7 months. LR (all PT grades) was not reduced with wider negative margin width (≥ 2 mm v < 2 mm: odds ratio [OR] = 0.39; 95% CI, 0.07 to 2.10; P =.27) or final margin status (positive v negative: OR = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.26 to 3.52; P =.96).CONCLUSIONIn current practice, many patients are managed outside of current guidelines. For the entire cohort, a wider margin width was not associated with a reduced risk of LR. We do not recommend re-excision of a negative margin for benign PT, regardless of margin width, as a progressively wider surgical margin is unlikely to reduce LR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-189
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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