Orbital metastases from breast cancer: A single institution case series

Alessandro Sindoni, Fausto Fama', Paolo Vinciguerra, Gianlorenzo Dionigi, Sofia Ada Assunta Maria Manara, Roberto Gaeta, Maria Gioffre'-Florio, Alessandra Di Maria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Among orbital tumors, metastatic lesions have a prevalence of 1% to 13%; on the other hand, breast cancer is the most common malignancy causing orbital metastases. The aim of this study is to present our experience dealing with orbital metastases caused by breast cancer, to assess characteristics and clinic-pathological data of patients suffering from this rare occurrence and to find indexes related with their prognosis and survival.

METHODS: Records of 28 patients diagnosed with orbital metastases from breast cancer at the Department of Ophthalmology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre of Milano over a 27-year period (1992-2018) were retrieved and analyzed.

RESULTS: Mean patients' age at breast cancer diagnosis was 56.29 ± 14.63 years. Mean time interval between breast cancer diagnosis and orbital metastasis occurrence was 5 ± 4.17 years. All lesions were estrogen receptor-positive; 79% of patients harbored progesterone receptor-positive lesions. Interestingly, the majority of deceased patients presented orbital lesions with MIB-1 index >50% (P = .0265) and had concomitant lung metastases (P = .0452).

CONCLUSIONS: The occurrence of orbital metastasis from breast cancer represents a challenging finding. Patients' clinical picture can include exophthalmos, edema, tumefaction, proptosis and/or diplopia. Significant symptomatic improvement can be achieved through surgery and other adjuvant treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-175
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Breast Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy/epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Orbital Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Orbital metastases from breast cancer: A single institution case series'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this