Investigators have found that in breast cancer survivors, the cancer’s stage and receptor status may help clinicians predict whether and when cancer might recur after initial treatment, according to a new study published by Neuman et al in Cancer.
Study Methods and Results
In the new study, the investigators analyzed data on 8,007 patients with stage I through III breast cancer who participated in nine clinical trials from 1997 to 2013 and received standard-of-care therapy. The investigators noted that the time to first cancer recurrence varied significantly between receptor types—such as estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER2. For each receptor type, cancer stage also influenced the time to recurrence.
The risk of recurrence was highest and occurred earliest for patients with ER-negative, PR-negative, HER2-negative tumors and was lowest for patients with ER-positive, PR-positive, HER2-positive tumors; when diagnosed with stage III breast cancer, patients with these receptor types had a 45.5% and 15.3% risk of recurrence within 5 years, respectively.
Based on their findings, the investigators developed follow-up recommendations on the basis of cancer stage and receptor type. For example, the researchers suggested that patients with the lowest risk should be seen by their oncology team once annually for 5 years, whereas those with the highest risk should be seen once every 3 months for 5 years.
“Our developed follow-up guidelines present an opportunity to personalize how we deliver breast cancer follow-up care,” noted lead study author Heather Neuman, MD, MS, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “By tailoring follow-up based on risk, we have the potential to have a strong, positive impact on both survivors and their oncology providers by improving the quality and efficiency of care,” she concluded.
Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com.The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.