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December 1993

Endocrine Organ Metastases in Subjects With Lobular Carcinoma of the Breast

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine (Drs Bumpers, Hassett, Hoover, and Holyoke), and the Departments of Surgical Oncology (Dr Holyoke) and Pathology (Dr Penetrante), Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(12):1344-1347. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420240052009

Objective:  To define the frequency and pattern of endocrine organ metastases in patients dying of invasive lobular carcinoma.

Design:  Postmortem microscopic evaluation of the ovaries and adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, and parathyroid glands for breast cancer metastases.

Setting:  Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, between 1971 and 1990.

Subjects:  One hundred eighteen subjects who died of their cancer: 86 had infiltrating ductal carcinoma; 32, invasive lobular carcinoma.

Mean Outcome Measure:  Quantitative measurements to allow frequency determinations and statistical comparisons.

Results:  Endocrine organ metastases were found in 91% of the subjects with invasive lobular carcinoma vs 58% of subjects with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. The adrenal gland was most frequently involved. Multiple endocrine metastases were most common in the group with invasive lobular carcinoma.

Conclusions:  A relationship exists between invasive lobular carcinoma and endocrine metastases. This indicates that antemortem endocrine evaluation may subsequently improve quality-of-life treatment.(Arch Surg. 1993;128:1344-1347)