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      A Case of Pulmonary Metastasis of Breast Cancer 23 Years after Surgery Accompanied with Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium Infection

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          Abstract

          Recurrence of oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer rarely occurs postoperatively after a long period. Breast cancer cells survive and settle in distant organs in a dormant state, a phenomenon known as “tumour dormancy.” Here, we present a 66-year-old woman with recurrence of ER-positive breast cancer in the left lung 23 years after surgery accompanied with non-tuberculous mycobacterium infection (NTM). At the age of 43 years, the patient underwent a right mastectomy and adjuvant hormonotherapy to completely cure breast cancer. Twenty-three years after the operation, when the patient was 66 years old, computed tomography presented nodular shadows in the lower lobes bilaterally with bronchiectasis and ill-defined satellite tree-in-bud nodules. Mycobacterium intracellulare was detected in cultured bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained from the left lower lobe by bronchoscopy. Rifampicin, ethambutol, and clarithromycin were started, which resulted in shrinkage of the nodule in the right lower lobe and satellite nodules; however, the nodule in the left lower lobe increased in size gradually. Wedge resection of the left lower lobe containing the nodule by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery was performed, which demonstrated that the nodule was adenocarcinoma in intraoperative pathological diagnosis; therefore, a left lower lobectomy and mediastinal lymph node dissection were performed. The tumour was revealed to be consistent with recurrence of previous breast cancer according to its morphology and immunohistochemical staining. Furthermore, caseous epithelioid cell granulomas existed in the periphery of the tumour. It is reported that inflammatory cytokines induce reawakening of dormant oestrogen-dependent breast cancer and, in our case, NTM infection might have stimulated the dormant tumour cells in the lower lobe.

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          Most cited references 24

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          20-Year Risks of Breast-Cancer Recurrence after Stopping Endocrine Therapy at 5 Years.

          The administration of endocrine therapy for 5 years substantially reduces recurrence rates during and after treatment in women with early-stage, estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Extending such therapy beyond 5 years offers further protection but has additional side effects. Obtaining data on the absolute risk of subsequent distant recurrence if therapy stops at 5 years could help determine whether to extend treatment.
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            Metastasis dormancy in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

            About 20% to 40% of patients with breast cancer eventually develop recurrences in distant organs, which are often not detected until years to decades after the primary tumor diagnosis. This phenomenon is especially pronounced in estrogen receptor-positive (ER(+)) breast cancer, suggesting that ER(+) cancer cells may stay dormant for a protracted period of time, despite adjuvant therapies. Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to explain how cancer cells survive and remain in dormancy, and how they become reactivated and exit dormancy. These mechanisms include angiogenic switch, immunosurveillance, and interaction with extracellular matrix and stromal cells. How to eradicate or suppress these dormant cancer cells remains a major clinical issue because of the lack of knowledge about the biologic and clinical nature of these cells. Herein, we review the clinical manifestation of metastasis dormancy in ER(+) tumors, the current biologic insights regarding tumor dormancy obtained from various experimental models, and the clinical challenges to predict, detect, and treat dormant metastases. We also discuss future research directions toward a better understanding of the biologic mechanisms and clinical management of ER(+) dormant metastasis. ©2013 AACR.
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              Dormancy Signatures and Metastasis in Estrogen Receptor Positive and Negative Breast Cancer

              Breast cancers can recur after removal of the primary tumor and treatment to eliminate remaining tumor cells. Recurrence may occur after long periods of time during which there are no clinical symptoms. Tumor cell dormancy may explain these prolonged periods of asymptomatic residual disease and treatment resistance. We generated a dormancy gene signature from published experimental models and applied it to both breast cancer cell line expression data as well as four published clinical studies of primary breast cancers. We found that estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cell lines and primary tumors have significantly higher dormancy signature scores (P<0.0000001) than ER- cell lines and tumors. In addition, a stratified analysis combining all ER+ tumors in four studies indicated 2.1 times higher hazard of recurrence among patients whose tumors had low dormancy scores (LDS) compared to those whose tumors had high dormancy scores (HDS) (p<0.000005). The trend was shown in all four individual studies. Suppression of two dormancy genes, BHLHE41 and NR2F1, resulted in increased in vivo growth of ER positive MCF7 cells. The patient data analysis suggests that disseminated ER positive tumor cells carrying a dormancy signature are more likely to undergo prolonged dormancy before resuming metastatic growth. Furthermore, genes identified with this approach might provide insight into the mechanisms of dormancy onset and maintenance as well as dormancy models using human breast cancer cell lines.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Case Rep Oncol
                Case Rep Oncol
                CRO
                Case Reports in Oncology
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, karger@karger.com )
                1662-6575
                Sep-Dec 2020
                25 November 2020
                25 November 2020
                : 13
                : 3
                : 1357-1363
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Respiratory Medicine, National Hospital Organization, Ibaraki Higashi National Hospital, Ibaraki, Japan
                bDepartment of Respiratory Surgery, National Hospital Organization, Ibaraki Higashi National Hospital, Ibaraki, Japan
                cDepartment of Pathology, National Hospital Organization, Ibaraki Higashi National Hospital, Ibaraki, Japan
                dDepartment of Clinical Research, National Hospital Organization, Ibaraki Higashi National Hospital, Ibaraki, Japan
                Author notes
                *Yuki Yabuuchi, National Hospital Organization, Ibaraki Higashi National Hospital, 825, Terunuma, Tokai-mura, Naka-gun, Ibaraki 319-1113 (Japan), jabbeflag@ 123456hotmail.co.jp
                Article
                cro-0013-1357
                10.1159/000511072
                7772832
                Copyright © 2020 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-4.0 International License (CC BY-NC) (http://www.karger.com/Services/OpenAccessLicense). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes requires written permission.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 14, Pages: 7
                Categories
                Case Report

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