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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2017, Article ID 1367159, 7 pages
Research Article

Patterns of Progression in Metastatic Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer: An Argument for Local Therapy

1University of Florida Health Cancer Center-Orlando Health, Orlando, FL, USA
2University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, USA
3Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Patrick Kelly; moc.htlaehodnalro@yllek.kcirtap

Received 2 May 2017; Accepted 20 August 2017; Published 25 September 2017

Academic Editor: Debra A. Tonetti

Copyright © 2017 Patrick Kelly et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Despite advances in endocrine therapy (ET), metastatic estrogen receptor positive breast cancer (BrCA) remains incurable. Though the mechanisms of resistance to ET have been studied extensively, the anatomic pattern of disease progression remains poorly characterized. The purpose of this study was to characterize the pattern of progression for patients receiving ET for metastatic BrCA. Methods. The records of 108 patients with metastatic BrCA who progressed on ET were reviewed. Progression was characterized as follows: diffuse progression, progression in greater than 3 sites; oligoprogression, progression in fewer than 3 sites with prior diffuse metastases; and oligometastatic disease with progression, progression in 3 or fewer sites with prior limited metastases. Results. Seventy-four patients (69%) displayed only diffuse disease progression. Conversely, 23 patients (21%) displayed oligoprogression and 11 patients (10%) displayed oligometastases with progression at least once in their disease course. Further analysis of the patients with oligoprogression suggested that in 14 patients the sites of progression would have been amenable to local therapy. Conclusion. Oligoprogressive disease occurs in a significant subset of patients with metastatic BrCA treated with ET. These patients with oligoprogressive disease may be eligible for local therapy, potentially obviating the need to change of systemic therapy.