Population-based estimates of overtreatment with adjuvant systemic therapy in early breast cancer patients with data from the Netherlands and the USA

M. A.A. Ragusi*, B. H.M. van der Velden, M. C. van Maaren, E. van der Wall, C. H. van Gils, R. M. Pijnappel, K. G.A. Gilhuijs, S.G. Elias

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Purpose: Although adjuvant systemic therapy (AST) helps increase breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS), there is a growing concern for overtreatment. By estimating the expected BCSS of AST using PREDICT, this study aims to quantify the number of patients treated with AST without benefit to provide estimates of overtreatment. Methods: Data of all non-metastatic unilateral breast cancer patients diagnosed in 2015 were retrieved from cancer registries from The Netherlands and the USA. The PREDICT tool was used to estimate AST survival benefit. Overtreatment was defined as the proportion of patients that would have survived regardless of or died despite AST within 10 years. Three scenarios were evaluated: actual treatment, and recommendations by the Dutch or USA guidelines. Results: 59.5% of Dutch patients were treated with AST. 6.4% (interquartile interval [IQI] = 2.5, 8.2%) was expected to survive at least 10 years due to AST, leaving 93.6% (IQI = 91.8, 97.5%) without AST benefit (overtreatment). The lowest expected amount of overtreatment was in the targeted and chemotherapy subgroup, with 86.5% (IQI = 83.4, 89.6%) overtreatment, and highest in the only endocrine treatment subgroup, with 96.7% (IQI = 96.0, 98.1%) overtreatment. Similar results were obtained using data from the USA, and guideline recommendations. Conclusion: Based on PREDICT, AST prevents 10-year breast cancer death in 6.4% of the patients treated with AST. Consequently, AST yields no survival benefit to many treated patients. Especially improved personalization of endocrine therapy is relevant, as this therapy is widely used and is associated with the highest amount of overtreatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-173
Number of pages13
JournalBreast cancer research and treatment
Volume193
Issue number1
Early online date3 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Endocrine therapy
  • Overtreatment
  • Targeted therapy

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