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Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment


With the improvement of diagnostic techniques, numerous uncommon metastases derived from breast cancer were reported. However, very few studies explored the clinical characteristics and prognostic patterns of these patients. A total of 82 cases of uncommon metastatic breast cancer (MBC) registered at our hospital from January 1, 2010, to July 1, 2022, were selected for this retrospective study. The diagnoses of uncommon metastases were based on pathology, and the potential prognostic indicators (overall survival [OS], uncommon disease-free interval [uDFI], and remaining survival [RS]) were estimated. The uncommon metastases involved distant soft tissue, parotid gland, thyroid, digestive system, urinary system, reproductive system, bone marrow, and pericardium. Stepwise multivariate Cox regression analysis indicates age ≤ 35 is an independent risk factor of poor outcome of OS, uDFI, and RS in uncommon MBC patients. Meanwhile, uncommon metastasis combined with common visceral metastasis is an independent risk factor for poor RS of uncommon MBC patients, with a hazard ratio of 6.625 (95% confidence interval = 1.490-29.455, P = .013). Post hoc pairwise comparisons showed that uncommon MBC patients who developed bone-only metastasis survived longer than those concomitant with common visceral metastasis (P = .029). Although the incidence is low, uncommon MBC may involve multiple metastatic sites. The delayed diagnosis of uncommon metastases could lead to systemic progression of the disease. However, patients who only develop uncommon metastasis have a significantly better prognosis than that of those combined with common visceral metastasis. Even for those complicated by bone-only metastasis, active treatment of bone metastases can still achieve substantially longer survival.



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breast neoplasms, metastatic breast cancer, uncommon metastases, age, concomitant metastases, prognosis