Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 142, Issue 3, pp 579–590 | Cite as

Comparing the outcome between multicentric and multifocal breast cancer: what is the impact on survival, and is there a role for guideline-adherent adjuvant therapy? A retrospective multicenter cohort study of 8,935 patients

  • R. Wolters
  • A. Wöckel
  • W. Janni
  • I. Novopashenny
  • F. Ebner
  • R. Kreienberg
  • M. Wischnewsky
  • L. SchwentnerEmail author
  • For the BRENDA Study Group
Clinical trial


Multifocal (MF) and multicentric (MC) breast cancers have been comprehensively studied, and their outcomes have been compared with unifocal (UF) tumors. We attempted to answer the following questions: (1) Does MF/MC presentation influence the outcome concerning BC mortality?, (2) Is there an impact of guideline-adherent adjuvant treatment in these BC subtypes?, and (3)What is the influence of guideline violations concerning surgery (breast-conserving surgery versus mastectomy) on the survival of MF/MC BC patients? Between 1992 and 2008, we retrospectively analyzed 8,935 breast cancer patients from 17 participating breast cancer centers within the BRENDA study group. Of 8,935 breast cancer patients, 7,073 (79.2 %) had UF tumors, 1,398 (15.6 %) had MF tumors, and 464 (5.2 %) had MC tumors. RFS was significantly worse for MF/MC BC patients compared to patients with UF tumors (MF p = 0.007; MC p = 0.019). OAS was significantly worse for MC patients but not for MF patients compared to patients with UF tumors (MF p = 0.321; MC p = 0.001). Guideline adherence was significantly lower in patients with MF (n = 580; 41.5 %) and MC (n = 204; 44.0 %) compared to patients with UF (n = 3,871; 54.7 %) (p < 0.001) tumors. Guideline violations were associated with a highly significant deterioration in survival throughout all subgroups except for MC, with respect to RFS and OAS. For 100 %-guideline-adherent patients, we could not find any significant differences in RFS and OAS after adjusting by nodal status, grade, and tumor size. Furthermore, we could not find any significant differences in RFS and OAS in patients with MF or MC stratified by breast-conserving therapy (BCT lumpectomy and radiation therapy) and mastectomy. There is a strong association between improved RFS and OAS in patients with MF/MZ BC. There are no significant differences in RFS and OAS for patients with breast-conserving therapy or mastectomy.


Breast cancer Multicentric Multifocal Guideline adherence Survival Cohort study 



We express our thanks to the following persons for their contributions to the BRENDA study: Karsten Gnauert (Ostalbklinikum, Aalen), Steffen Fritz (Kreisklinik Biberach), Ulf Göretzlehner (Kreiskrankenhaus Ehingen), Hans-Walter Vollert (Städt. Krankenhaus Friedrichshafen), Peter Jakob Albert (Klinikum Heidenheim), Ricardo Felberbaum (Klinikum Kempten), Andreas Zorr (Klinikum Konstanz), Felix Flock (Klinikum Memmingen), Erik Schlicht (Stauferklinik, Mutlangen), Martina Gropp-Meier (Oberschwabenklinik Ravensburg), Gerhard Bartzke (Kreiskrankenhaus Rottweil), Andreas Rempen (Diakonie-Krankenhaus, Schwäbisch Hall), Edgar Schelble (Kreiskrankenhaus Sigmaringen), Theodor Dinkelacker (Helfenstein-Klinik Geislingen), Andreas Grüneberger (Oberschwabenklinik Wangen), and Thorsten Kühn (Städt. Kliniken, Esslingen). This study was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF-Grant-01ZP0505).

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there are no potential conflicts of interest, including any financial, personal, or other relationships with people or organizations that could inappropriately influence this work.

Ethical standard

This study and the BRENDA project have been approved by the ethics committee of the University of Ulm.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Wolters
    • 2
  • A. Wöckel
    • 1
  • W. Janni
    • 1
  • I. Novopashenny
    • 2
  • F. Ebner
    • 1
  • R. Kreienberg
    • 1
  • M. Wischnewsky
    • 2
  • L. Schwentner
    • 1
    Email author
  • For the BRENDA Study Group
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsUniversity Hospital UlmUlmGermany
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity BremenBremenGermany

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