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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 48

of 'The role of local therapies in metastatic breast cancer'

Breast liver metastases--incidence, diagnosis and outcome.
Hoe AL, Royle GT, Taylor I
J R Soc Med. 1991;84(12):714.
Breast liver metastases are uncommon and have not been well reported. We studied the clinical outcome of 47 patients who developed liver metastases out of 912 breast cancer patients treated between 1982 and 1987, an incidence of 5.2%. The median disease free interval prior to clinical liver metastases was 20.2 months (range 4-192 months). The most frequent clinical presentations were hepatomegaly (70%) and abdominal pain (34%). The diagnosis was confirmed on ultrasound scan in 72.7% patients. Thirty-one patients (70.5%) received specific treatment with both hormone and chemotherapy but only six showed any evidence of objective response, the majority of whom had metastases only in the liver. The median survival of treated patients was 4 months and absence of jaundice, response to treatment and liver metastases only were associated with significantly better survival. In conclusion breast liver metastases usually present as a manifestation of disseminated disease and have an appalling prognosis. When they occur as an initial site the prognosis is better but very few patients overall respond to conventional treatment.
University Surgical Unit, Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton.