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Dr. Chagpar on Surgery of the Primary Tumor in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Anees B. Chagpar, MD, FACS
Published: Wednesday, Apr 11, 2018



Anees B. Chagpar, MD, FACS, associate professor, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, assistant director, Global Oncology, Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses surgery of the primary tumor in the metastatic setting of breast cancer.

Distant metastatic disease has often been a contraindication for surgery of the primary tumor. The goal of surgery is to render these patients as no evidence of disease, but it is said that this cannot be done with distant metastatic spread, Chagpar explains.

Two randomized controlled trials have investigated whether surgery of the primary tumor can improve survival. However, the findings have been mixed. One trial from India showed that there was no survival benefit with the addition of surgery. A trial out of Turkey showed that there was, but this may be due to differences in the designs of these trials, Chagpar says. Ultimately, Chagpar says that findings from ongoing trials will be the determining factors on this debate.


Anees B. Chagpar, MD, FACS, associate professor, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, assistant director, Global Oncology, Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses surgery of the primary tumor in the metastatic setting of breast cancer.

Distant metastatic disease has often been a contraindication for surgery of the primary tumor. The goal of surgery is to render these patients as no evidence of disease, but it is said that this cannot be done with distant metastatic spread, Chagpar explains.

Two randomized controlled trials have investigated whether surgery of the primary tumor can improve survival. However, the findings have been mixed. One trial from India showed that there was no survival benefit with the addition of surgery. A trial out of Turkey showed that there was, but this may be due to differences in the designs of these trials, Chagpar says. Ultimately, Chagpar says that findings from ongoing trials will be the determining factors on this debate.



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