Nav: Home

Radiation therapy may increase complications in breast cancer patients receiving implants

December 08, 2016

SAN ANTONIO -- Radiotherapy increased complications and impaired patient-reported satisfaction with reconstructed breasts in breast cancer patients who received implant reconstruction but not in those who received autologous reconstruction, according to data from a large, prospective, multicenter cohort study presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10.

Autologous breast reconstruction is a procedure in which a woman's own body tissues are used to create a new breast after breast cancer surgery.

"There is growing evidence supporting the benefits of post-mastectomy radiotherapy in appropriate patients, but many patients still must decide whether they feel that the benefits given their particular circumstances outweigh the risks," said Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, professor and deputy chair in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan. "One of the risks of radiation therapy is that it may affect the options and outcomes for breast reconstruction, which many women who receive mastectomy desire."

Women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer face challenging decisions that will impact both their long-term disease control and quality of life, Jagsi said. Because many women who undergo mastectomy become long-term survivors, breast reconstruction can have a lasting impact on quality of life. Optimal approaches to integrate post-mastectomy radiotherapy and breast reconstruction are not well established thus far, she added.

Jagsi and colleagues conducted a multicenter cohort study called the Mastectomy Reconstruction Outcomes Consortium (MROC), in which they collected medical data and patient-reported outcomes data from 553 and 1,461 patients who did and did not receive radiotherapy, respectively. About 38 percent and 25 percent of the patients who did and did not receive radiotherapy, respectively, received autologous reconstruction, and the rest received implant reconstruction.

The researchers assessed if radiotherapy was associated with developing complications after breast reconstruction, such as hematoma and wound infection, and measured patients' satisfaction with the outcome using a BREAST-Q patient-reported outcome instrument, one and two years after reconstruction.

After a year of follow-up, 28.8 and 22.3 percent of the patients who did and did not receive radiotherapy, respectively, had at least one of the complications measured. After two years of follow-up, 34.1 percent of the patients who received radiotherapy and 22.5 percent of those who did not receive radiotherapy experienced reconstruction-related complications.

When the researchers took several variables into account, radiotherapy was associated with more than double the odds of developing complications in patients who received implants, but it was not associated with complications in those who received autologous reconstruction.

Based on BREAST-Q scores, patient-reported satisfaction was significantly lower in those who received radiation versus those who did not receive radiation among patients who received implants, but no such differences were found among patients who received autologous reconstruction.

"Although women must still weigh multiple factors, including the differences in operative time and rehabilitation required for different approaches, when selecting their preferred type of reconstruction, those who plan to receive post-mastectomy radiation therapy should be informed of the substantial and significant impact of radiotherapy observed in the current study among patients who received implant reconstruction," Jagsi said.

"Conversely, those who plan to pursue autologous reconstruction and are debating whether or not to receive radiotherapy may derive some reassurance from the current study findings that outcomes among patients receiving autologous reconstruction did not appear substantially worse than those of unirradiated patients by two years," she added.

A limitation of this study is that it is observational and does not establish cause-effect relationship. Further, patients treated at centers that are particularly skilled in integrating implant-based approaches with radiotherapy may still do well with such an approach, Jagsi noted.
-end-
This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute. Jagsi declares no conflict of interest.

Abstract Publication Number: S3-07
Title: Impact of radiotherapy on complications and patient-reported satisfaction with breast reconstruction: Findings from the prospective multicenter MROC study
Presentation: Thursday, Dec. 8, General Session 3 - Hall 3, 11 a.m. CT

Follow the meeting on Twitter: #SABCS16

The mission of the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is to produce a unique and comprehensive scientific meeting that encompasses the full spectrum of breast cancer research, facilitating the rapid translation of new knowledge into better care for patients with breast cancer. The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and Baylor College of Medicine are joint sponsors of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. This collaboration utilizes the clinical strengths of the CTRC and Baylor and the AACR's scientific prestige in basic, translational, and clinical cancer research to expedite the delivery of the latest scientific advances to the clinic. For more information about the symposium, please visit http://www.sabcs.org.

To interview Reshma Jagsi, contact Julia Gunther at julia.gunther@aacr.org or 267-250-5441.

American Association for Cancer Research

Related Radiation Therapy Articles:

A new way to monitor cancer radiation therapy doses
More than half of all cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and the dose is critical.
AI can jump-start radiation therapy for cancer patients
Artificial intelligence can help cancer patients start their radiation therapy sooner -- and thereby decrease the odds of the cancer spreading -- by instantly translating complex clinical data into an optimal plan of attack.
Towards safer, more effective cancer radiation therapy using X-rays and nanoparticles
X-rays could be tuned to deliver a more effective punch that destroys cancer cells and not harm the body.
Radiation therapy effective against deadly heart rhythm
A single high dose of radiation aimed at the heart significantly reduces episodes of a potentially deadly rapid heart rhythm, according to results of a phase one/two study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
New mathematical model can improve radiation therapy of brain tumours
Researchers have developed a new model to optimize radiation therapy and significantly increase the number of tumor cells killed during treatment.
Using artificial intelligence to deliver personalized radiation therapy
New Cleveland Clinic-led research shows that artificial intelligence (AI) can use medical scans and health records to personalize the dose of radiation therapy used to treat cancer patients.
'Seeing the light' behind radiation therapy
Delivering just the right dose of radiation for cancer patients is a delicate balance in their treatment regime.
Working to advance radiation therapy for children with cancer
Doctors at Children's Hospital Los Angeles use novel software to increase quality assurance in radiation therapy.
Shedding light -- literally -- on resistance to radiation therapy
A new Johns Hopkins study offers promise towards someday being able to non-invasively examine changes in cancerous tumors to determine whether they'll respond to radiation treatment, before treatment even begins.
Helping blood cells regenerate after radiation therapy
MIT researchers have devised a way to help blood cells regenerate faster, by stimulating a particular type of stem cell to secrete growth factors that help blood cell precursor cells differentiate into mature blood cells.
More Radiation Therapy News and Radiation Therapy Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.