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QOL-enhancing surgery for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer
  1. Masaya Kai,
  2. Makoto Kubo,
  3. Hitomi Kawaji,
  4. Kanako Kurata,
  5. Hitomi Mori,
  6. Mai Yamada and
  7. Masafumi Nakamura
  1. Department of Surgery and Oncology, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Masaya Kai, Departmentof Surgery and Oncology, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan; m-kai{at}


The role of the resection of primary tumour in stage IV breast cancer is unclear. Systemic therapy is recommended to prolong the survival and improve the quality of life (QOL). However, even if the systemic therapy is effective to control distant metastasis, sometimes the local lesion worsens, especially in the aggressive subtypes such as HER2-positive breast cancer. In uncontrollable tumours, the wound bed can bleed, weep and get infected, leading to dismal QOL. Our study describes two cases of patients with HER2-positive stage IV breast cancer who underwent palliative mastectomy which resulted in improvement of QOL. Local tumour control through palliative mastectomy can be beneficial for symptomatic aggressive patients with HER2-positive breast cancer to improve their QOL.

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  • Contributors MKa designed the study and wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. MKu contributed to analysis and interpretation of data, and assisted in the preparation of the manuscript. HK, KK, HM and MY contributed to acquisition of data. MN conducted the study. MKa, MKu, HK, KK, HM and MN critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript, and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Institutional Review Board of Kyushu University Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.