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The value of prognostic parameters for the stratification of advanced breast cancer patients


One hundred seventy-five patients with metastatic breast cancer, treated with a combination chemotherapy (Cooper regimen), were analyzed retrospectively to identify the value of the traditional prognostic parameters (disease-free interval; menopausal status; dominant site of metastatic lesion) for the stratification of patients before randomization. Response rate and survival time were not significantly affected by the disease-free interval and menopausal status. A significant difference was detected among the three categories total extent of disease (according to Swenerton) was found to be the most important factor for predicting response and survival time after combination cytotoxic treatment. The differences between the dominant size of metastatic disease are mainly influenced by different size of metastatic spread. Therefore, there is found a significant correlation between the different types of dominant lesions and total extent of disease. In conclusion, the particular sites of metastatic spread seem to be of less importance than overall extent of disease in predicting the outcome. A critical evaluation of the three traditional stratification parameters and introduction of a semiquantitative estimation of total tumor burden as a new stratification parameter seems to be necessary when planning and comparing future trials.

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Correspondence to R. Mörz.

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Mörz, R., Francesconi, M., Schemper, M. et al. The value of prognostic parameters for the stratification of advanced breast cancer patients. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 102, 289–299 (1982).

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Key words

  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Combination cytotoxic chemotheraphy
  • Stratification parameters