Treating (low-risk) DCIS patients: What can we learn from real-world cancer registry evidence?

on behalf of the Grand Challenge PRECISION consortium

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Purpose: Results from active surveillance trials for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) will not be available for > 10 years. A model based on real-world data (RWD) can demonstrate the comparative impact of non-intervention for women with low-risk features. Methods: Multi-state models were developed using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) data for three treatment strategies (no local treatment, breast conserving surgery [BCS], BCS + radiotherapy [RT]), and for women with DCIS low-risk features. Eligible cases included women aged ≥ 40 years, diagnosed with primary DCIS between 1992 and 2016. Five mutually exclusive health states were modelled: DCIS, ipsilateral invasive breast cancer (iIBC) ≤ 5 years and > 5 years post-DCIS diagnosis, contralateral IBC, death preceded by and death not preceded by IBC. Propensity score-weighted Cox models assessed effects of treatment, age, diagnosis year, grade, ER status, and race. Results: Data on n = 85,982 women were used. Increased risk of iIBC ≤ 5 years post-DCIS was demonstrated for ages 40–49 (Hazard ratio (HR) 1.86, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.34–2.57 compared to age 50–69), grade 3 lesions (HR 1.42, 95%CI 1.05-1.91) compared to grade 2, lesion size ≥ 2 cm (HR 1.66, 95%CI 1.23–2.25), and Black race (HR 2.52, 95%CI 1.83–3.48 compared to White). According to the multi-state model, propensity score-matched women with low-risk features who had not died or experienced any subsequent breast event by 10 years, had a predicted probability of iIBC as first event of 3.02% for no local treatment, 1.66% for BCS, and 0.42% for BCS+RT. Conclusion: RWD from the SEER registry showed that women with primary DCIS and low-risk features demonstrate minimal differences by treatment strategy in experiencing subsequent breast events. There may be opportunity to de-escalate treatment for certain women with low-risk features: Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women aged 50–69 at diagnosis, with ER+, grade 1 + 2, < 2 cm DCIS lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalBreast cancer research and treatment
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ
  • Multi-state modeling
  • Real-world data
  • Active surveillance


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