Cooperative Trial Results Have Minimal Effect on Reducing Adjuvant Radiation Therapy in Older Women with Breast Cancer

Share this content:

(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Despite Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) C9343 study results that found adjuvant radiation therapy provided minimal benefits for older women with breast cancer — prompting a change in clinical guidelines — few actual changes were observed in clinical practice, investigators reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology online March 5.

“Particularly among women with limited life expectancy, the continued use of radiation therapy may impose health risks and an added burden to patients while providing no mortality benefit and a relatively small benefit in terms of locoregional recurrence,” the investigators wrote. “In addition, unnecessary radiation therapy represents a significant cost to Medicare.”

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Medicare data set was interrogated to assess use of adjuvant radiation therapy in 12,925 beneficiaries ≥70 years of age diagnosed with stage I breast cancer from 2001 to 2007, 76.5% of whom received radiation therapy. Mean age was 77.7 years.

Approximately 75% of women received radiation therapy following publication of the CALGB C9343 study results vs. 79% before the study publication (adjusted RR=0.97). Among patients with life expectancy <5 years, radiation therapy use decreased by 3.7%, from 44.4% pre-publication to 40.7% following publication. Among patients with life expectancy ≥10 years, radiation therapy use decreased by 3.0%, from 92.0% to 89.0%.



Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs