Breast-Conserving Therapy Versus Mastectomy in Young Breast Cancer Patients Concerning Molecular Subtypes: A SEER Population-Based Study

In Clinical Studies News by Barbara Jacoby



Breast-conserving therapy was once a contraindication in young breast cancer patients (aged ≤40 years). Emerging studies suggest that breast-conserving therapy and mastectomy could achieve similar prognosis in this population. However, the effect of molecular subtype disparity on surgical strategy in these patients remains unclear. Data from 8656 young patients (aged ≤40 years) diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between in 2010 and 2014 were retrospectively reviewed from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database.

The Cox proportional hazards model was used to evaluate subtype-dependent relationships between the surgical method and survival. Of the 8656 patients, 4132 (47.7%) underwent breast-conserving therapy and 4524 (52.3%) underwent mastectomy. The median follow-up period was 30.0 months. Patients in the breast-conserving therapy group demonstrated better overall survival and breast cancer-specific survival than those in the mastectomy group (both p < 0.05). Patients with different molecular subtypes exhibited significant differences in overall survival and breast cancer-specific survival (p < 0.001). Patients with luminal subtypes experienced better overall survival and breast cancer-specific survival than those with the triple-negative subtype.

Multivariate analysis revealed that overall mortality risk of the breast-conserving therapy group was lower than that of the mastectomy group among HR(+)HER-2(-) and HR(-)HER-2(-) patients (overall mortality risk of 36.3% [adjusted hazard ratio = 0.637 {95% confidence interval = 0.448-0.905}, p = 0.012] and 36.0% [adjusted hazard ratio = 0.640 {95% confidence interval = 0.455-0.901}, p = 0.010] respectively.)

The breast cancer-specific mortality risk was also lower by a percentage similar to that of the overall mortality risk. In the HR(+)HER-2(+) group, the surgical method was an independent prognostic factor for breast cancer-specific survival (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.275 [95% confidence interval = 0.089-0.849], p = 0.025), while there was a trend that patients with breast-conserving therapy had better overall survival than those with mastectomy (p = 0.056). In the HR(-)HER-2(+) group, no significant difference was observed in overall survival and breast cancer-specific survival (p = 0.791 and p = 0.262, respectively).

Breast-conserving therapy resulted in significantly better prognosis in patients with luminal and triple-negative subtypes, while no significant difference was observed in patients with the HER-2 enriched subtype. These results may be helpful in informing clinically precise decision-making for surgery in this population.