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Adherence to medical standards has been found to occur in 76.3% of patients with recurrence of breast cancer, according to research presented at the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference 2021.
Vanya Mitova, MD, from the University Hospital Lozenetz, in Sofia, Bulgaria, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from 263 patients who were diagnosed with and treated for local recurrence of breast cancer at 2 centers from January 2012 to March 2020. Patients with primary breast cancer had been treated in multiple hospitals. The level of adherence to medical standards was assessed according to quality indicators of the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists.
Participants were a median age of 45.2 years at the time of their first diagnosis. The time interval from the primary tumor to recurrence ranged from 1 month to 36 years, and 44.9% of patients had a family history of breast cancer.
Among patients with primary tumors, 68.82% were stage T1 (T1a, 1,5%; T1b, 49%; and T1c, 18.3%) and 0.8% were stage T3. Regional lymph nodes were not assessed in 11.4% of patients with primary tumors, which led to a significant decrease in level of adherence to medical standards among these patients.
Regarding primary tumor characteristics and recurrence rates, high estrogen receptor-positive titers (≥50%) were observed in 66.5% of patients with a primary tumor and in 67.3% with a recurrence. Progesterone receptor-positive status with high titers (≥50%) was reported in 45.2% of patients with a primary tumor and in 41.4% who experienced relapse. HER2-negative status was reported in 79.8% of patients with a primary tumor and in 85.2% of patients who experienced relapse. The level of adherence to medical standards was 76.3%, and the average minimum standard according to quality indicators was 84.4%.
Significant differences occurred in the level of adherence to medical standards according to the patients’ age and clinical treatment, noted the researchers.
“Despite the many efforts that have been made in the quality of breast cancer care, it would be greatly improved if we reduce recurrences,” the investigators concluded. “Therefore, knowledge of the prognostic factors is key to a better prognosis. Monitoring the level of adherence to medical standards for breast cancer recurrence can aid in the development of treatment strategies and follow-up in these at-risk patients.”
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Mitova V, Gavrilov I, Mangusheva Y, Gornev R. The level of adherence to medical standards as a prognostic factor for breast cancer recurrence. Poster presentation at: 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference 2021; March 17-20, 2021. Abstract P119.