Research Papers:

Comparative effectiveness study of breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy in the general population: A NCDB analysis

Kai Chen _, Jieqiong Liu, Liling Zhu, Fengxi Su, Erwei Song and Lisa K. Jacobs

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:40127-40140. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5394

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Kai Chen1,2,3,*, Jieqiong Liu1,2,3,*, Liling Zhu1,2, Fengxi Su1,2, Erwei Song1,2, Lisa K. Jacobs3

1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

2Breast Tumor Center, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

3Departments of Surgery and Oncology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Lisa K. Jacobs, e-mail: [email protected]

Kai Chen, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer, breast-conserving surgery, mastectomy

Received: August 12, 2015     Accepted: August 29, 2015     Published: October 19, 2015


Purpose: Recent studies have revealed that breast-conserving surgery (BCS) with radiotherapy (RT) led to better survival than mastectomy in some populations. We compared the efficacy of BCS+RT and mastectomy using the National Cancer Database (NCDB, USA).

Methods: Non-metastatic breast cancers in the NCDB from 2004–2011 were identified.The Kaplan-Meier method, Coxregression and propensity score analysis were used to compare the overall survival (OS) among patients with BCS+RT, mastectomy alone and mastectomy+RT.

Results: A total of 160,880 patients with a median follow-up of 43.4 months were included. The respective 8-year OS values were 86.5%, 72.3% and 70.4% in the BCS+RT, mastectomy alone and mastectomy+RT group, respectively (P < 0.001). After exclusion of patients with comorbidities, mastectomy (alone or with RT) remained associated with a lower OS in N0 and N1 patients. However, the OS of mastectomy+RT was equivalent to BCS+RT in N2–3 patients. Among patients aged 50 or younger, the OS benefit of BCS+RT over mastectomy alone was statistically significant (HR1.42, 95% CI 1.16–1.74), but not clinically significant (<5%) in N0 patients, whereas in N2–3 patients, the OS of BCS+RT was equivalent to mastectomy+RT (85.2% vs. 84.8%). The results of the propensity analysis were similar.

Conclusions: BCS+RT resulted in improved OS compared with mastectomy ± RT in N0 and N1 patients. In N2–3 patients, BCS+RT has an OS similar to mastectomy+RT when patients with comorbidities were excluded. Among patients aged 50 or younger, the OS of BCS+RT is equivalent to mastectomy ± RT.

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