The effectiveness of personalised surveillance and aftercare in breast cancer follow-up: a systematic review

Marissa C. van Maaren*, Jolanda C. van Middelkoop-van Hoeve, J.C. Korevaar, Marjan van Hezewijk, Ester J.M. Siemerink, Anneke M. Zeillemaker, Anneleen Klaassen-Dekker, Dominique J.P. van Uden, José H. Volders, Stans C.H.C. Drossaert, Sabine Siesling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: Breast cancer follow-up (surveillance and aftercare) varies from one-size-fits-all to more personalised approaches. A systematic review was performed to get insight in existing evidence on (cost-)effectiveness of personalised follow-up.

Methods: PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane were searched between 01–01-2010 and 10–10-2022 (review registered in PROSPERO:CRD42022375770). The inclusion population comprised nonmetastatic breast cancer patients ≥ 18 years, after completing curative treatment. All intervention-control studies studying personalised surveillance and/or aftercare designed for use during the entire follow-up period were included. All review processes including risk of bias assessment were performed by two reviewers. Characteristics of included studies were described.

Results: Overall, 3708 publications were identified, 64 full-text publications were read and 16 were included for data extraction. One study evaluated personalised surveillance. Various personalised aftercare interventions and outcomes were studied. Most common elements included in personalised aftercare plans were treatment summaries (75%), follow-up guidelines (56%), lists of available supportive care resources (38%) and PROs (25%). Control conditions mostly comprised usual care. Four out of seven (57%) studies reported improvements in quality of life following personalisation. Six studies (38%) found no personalisation effect, for multiple outcomes assessed (e.g. distress, satisfaction). One (6.3%) study was judged as low, four (25%) as high risk of bias and 11 (68.8%) as with concerns.

Conclusion: The included studies varied in interventions, measurement instruments and outcomes, making it impossible to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of personalised follow-up. There is a need for a definition of both personalised surveillance and aftercare, whereafter outcomes can be measured according to uniform standards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number323
JournalSupportive care in cancer
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2024


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