The benefit of adjuvant radiotherapy after breast conserving surgery in older patients with low risk breast cancer- a meta-analysis of randomized trials

Christiane Matuschek, Edwin Bölke, Jan Haussmann, Svjetlana Mohrmann, Carolin Nestle-Krämling, Peter Arne Gerber, Stefanie Corradini, Klaus Orth, Kai Kammers, Wilfried Budach
Radiation Oncology 2017 March 23, 12 (1): 60

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S): It is currently unclear whether patients with low risk breast cancer receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy need adjuvant radiation therapy after breast conserving surgery. The data of randomized trials are available.

MATERIALS/METHODS: In a database search 5 randomized trials including in total 3766 mostly elderly patients with early stage breast cancer treated either with adjuvant endocrine therapy or with endocrine therapy and additional whole breast radiation after breast conserving surgery were identified. Published hazard ratios for time to local recurrence were the basis of our meta-analysis. Meta-analysis of the effect sizes on local recurrence was performed using a random effects model based on parameter estimates of log hazard ratios in Cox models and their standard errors. Furthermore, overall survival was examined.

RESULTS: Adjuvant hormone therapy alone in mostly older patients with low risk breast cancer resulted in significantly shorter time to local relapse compared to radiation therapy combined with hormone therapy (Hazard Ratio: 6.8, 95% CI: 4.23-10.93, p < 0.0001) . There was no significant difference for overall survival.

CONCLUSION: Additional radiation therapy to hormone therapy did improve local relapse in breast cancer patients but did not show significant impact on overall survival.

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