PURPOSE: The future of non-operative management of DCIS relies on distinguishing lesions requiring treatment from those needing only active surveillance. More accurate preoperative staging and grading of DCIS would be helpful. We identified determinants of upstaging preoperative breast biopsies showing ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) to invasive breast cancer (IBC), or of upgrading them to higher-grade DCIS, following examination of the surgically excised specimen. METHODS: We studied all women with DCIS at preoperative biopsy in a large specialist cancer centre during 2000-2014. Information from clinical records, mammography, and pathology specimens from both preoperative biopsy and excised specimen were abstracted. Women suspected of having IBC during biopsy were excluded. RESULTS: Among 606 preoperative biopsies showing DCIS, 15.0% (95% confidence interval 12.3-18.1) were upstaged to IBC and a further 14.6% (11.3-18.4) upgraded to higher-grade DCIS. The risk of upstaging increased with presence of a palpable lump (21.1% vs 13.0%, pdifference = 0.04), while the risk of upgrading increased with presence of necrosis on biopsy (33.0% vs 9.5%, pdifference < 0.001) and with use of 14G core-needle rather than 9G vacuum-assisted biopsy (22.8% vs 7.0%, pdifference < 0.001). Larger mammographic size increased the risk of both upgrading (pheterogeneity = 0.01) and upstaging (pheterogeneity = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: The risk of upstaging of DCIS in preoperative biopsies is lower than previously estimated and justifies conducting randomized clinical trials testing the safety of active surveillance for lower grade DCIS. Selection of women with low grade DCIS for such trials, or for active surveillance, may be improved by consideration of the additional factors identified in this study.
Breast Cancer Res Treat
Biopsy, Breast cancer, DCIS, Ductal carcinoma in situ, Upgrading, Upstaging