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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Malignant pleural effusion in breast cancer 12 years after mastectomy that was successfully treated with endocrine therapy

Unusual clinical course, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Unexpected drug reaction , Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Tsuyoshi Shinohara, Hiroyuki Yamada, Yoshiro Fujimori, Kiyofumi Yamagishi

Japan Nakano, Japan

Am J Case Rep 2013; 14:184-187

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.889249

Available online:

Published: 2013-06-03


Background:   The most common site of postoperative breast cancer recurrence is bone, followed by local relapse, lung, and liver. The majority of relapses occur within the first 3 years after surgery. Pleural recurrences more than 10 years after surgery are rare.
Case Report:  A 94-year-old woman who had undergone modified radical mastectomy for right breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma, pT2, pN1, ER+, PgR+) 12 years earlier presented to our hospital with carcinomatous pleuritis and a chief complaint of dyspnea. Endocrine therapy with oral letrozole was started and the pleural effusion had disappeared 3 months later.
Conclusions: Oral endocrine therapy may be effective for the treatment of late recurrence of hormon receptor-positive breast cancer in elderly women.

Keywords: endocrine therapy, breast cancer, late recurrence, Malignant pleural effusion