Breast cancer: radiotherapy yields survival benefit in young women

  • Liu QQ & al.
  • Cancer Med
  • 23 Apr 2019

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Radiotherapy (RT) may confer a survival benefit in young women (aged 18-45 years) with early breast cancer consisting of all molecular subtypes except for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
  • Women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-enriched subtype appear to benefit the most.

Why this matters

  • This study is the first to examine the effects of RT in young women by molecular subtype.
  • Findings will allow clinicians to shape treatment decisions.

Study design

  • Retrospective cohort of 23,148 young women diagnosed with stage T1-3N0-3M0 breast cancer in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database over a median follow-up of 22 months.
  • The main outcomes were OS and breast-cancer-specific survival (BCSS) by each molecular subtype: luminal-A (hormone receptor [HR]-positive/HER2−), luminal-B (HR+/HER2+), HER2-enriched (HR-/HER2+), and TNBC (HR−/HER2−).
  • Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China; other.

Key results

  • Median age, 41 years; luminal-A subtype was most common (63.54%).
  • OS
    • RT (vs no RT) was associated with prolonged survival in women with HER2-enriched (HR, 0.295; P=.002), luminal-A (HR, 0.696; P=.006), and luminal-B (HR, 0.385; P=.005), but not TNBC.
  • BCSS
    • RT (vs no RT) was associated with prolonged survival in women with HER2-enriched (HR, 0.328; P=.004) but not luminal-A, luminal-B, and TNBC.

Limitations

  • Retrospective, observational design.
  • Limited follow-up.

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