Primary tumor resection in patients with stage IV breast cancer: 10-year experience

Malke Asaad, Jennifer A. Yonkus, Tanya L. Hoskin, Tina J. Hieken, James W. Jakub, Judy C. Boughey, Amy C. Degnim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of surgery in the management of stage IV breast cancer is controversial. Existing studies in Stage IV breast cancer have not closely evaluated the role of patient response to induction systemic therapy (IST) in its relationship to survival outcomes. We identified all patients with a diagnosis of de novo stage IV breast cancer who underwent surgery of their primary tumor from January 2008 to December 2018. Patients were grouped according to their response in the primary disease site into progression (progressive primary disease) or no progression (nonprogressive primary; comprising complete, partial and stable response). We identified a total of 45 stage IV breast cancer patients who underwent operative intervention of their primary breast tumor. Prior to surgical intervention, progression in the primary site during IST was identified in 13/42 patients (31%), of whom four patients also had progression in the distant disease. The 5-year survival was higher in the nonprogressive primary (74%) than the progressive primary disease group (52%) which did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.08). Age, pathologic tumor size, clinical nodal status, number of positive lymph nodes, and distant disease response to systemic therapy were significantly associated with survival. In this single institution experience, select patients with stage IV breast cancer at initial diagnosis who underwent resection of the primary tumor following systemic therapy achieved favorable overall and distant progression-free survival. Surgery is reasonable to consider for local palliation or in selected patients who have excellent response to systemic therapy and good performance status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-871
Number of pages9
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • breast cancer
  • induction systemic therapy
  • stage IV
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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