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Association between adjuvant radiation treatment and breast cancer-specific mortality among older women with comorbidity burden: A comparative effectiveness analysis of SEER-MHOS

Cancer Med. 2023 Sep 14. doi: 10.1002/cam4.6493. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network suggested that older women with low-risk breast cancer (LRBC; i.e., early-stage, node-negative, and estrogen receptor-positive) could omit adjuvant radiation treatment (RT) after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) if they were treated with hormone therapy. However, the association between RT omission and breast cancer-specific mortality among older women with comorbidity is not fully known.

METHODS: 1105 older women (≥65 years) with LRBC in 1998-2012 were queried from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey data resource and were followed up through July 2018. Latent class analysis was performed to identify comorbidity burden classes. A propensity score-based inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) was applied to Cox regression models to obtain subdistribution hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CI for cancer-specific mortality considering other causes of death as competing risks, overall and separately by comorbidity burden class.

RESULTS: Three comorbidity burden (low, moderate, and high) groups were identified. A total of 318 deaths (47 cancer-related) occurred. The IPTW-adjusted Cox regression analysis showed that RT omission was not associated with short-term, 5- and 10-year cancer-specific death (p = 0.202 and p = 0.536, respectively), regardless of comorbidity burden. However, RT omission could increase the risk of long-term cancer-specific death in women with low comorbidity burden (HR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.17, 3.33), which warrants further study.

CONCLUSIONS: Omission of RT after BCS is not associated with an increased risk of cancer-specific death and is deemed a reasonable treatment option for older women with moderate to high comorbidity burden.

PMID:37706222 | DOI:10.1002/cam4.6493

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