Surgical Outcomes of Primary Versus Post-Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Breast Conservation Surgery: A Comparative Study from a Developing Country
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In India and other developing countries, breast conservation surgery (BCS) rates in breast cancer patients are low due to advanced disease at presentation and misconceptions about BCS outcomes. Many patients presenting with large or locally advanced breast cancers (LABC) can be offered post-neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) BCS, safety of which is not as well established as that of primary BCS. This retrospective study compared pathological and surgical outcome parameters in patients undergoing primary and post-NACT BCS.
All non-metastatic breast cancer patients undergoing BCS during 2011–2015 with 1-year follow-up were included. Outcome parameters in form of margin infiltration, ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) rates and IBTR-free survival were compared between primary and post-NACT BCS patients groups.
One hundred and twenty-nine patients underwent BCS; 95 underwent primary and 34 post-NACT BCS. Patients in both groups underwent similar multimodality treatment as per institutional protocols. Post-NACT patients more frequently required oncoplastic volume displacement or replacement surgery (p = 0.002). Re-excision of infiltrated margins was needed more frequently in primary BCS compared with post-NACT BCS group (14.4 vs. 8.8%; p = 0.40). IBTR (Mean follow-up = 30.7 months) was seen in 8.8% post-NACT patients compared with 2.1% primary BCS (p = 0.114). IBTR-free survival did not differ significantly between the groups in stage-wise comparison.
Post-NACT BCS is safe even in large tumors and LABC, though many require oncoplastic procedures for satisfactory cosmesis. In a developing country where many patients present with large breast cancers or LABC, the benefits of BCS can be offered to a majority with the help of NACT, without compromising the chances of cure.
The authors wish to acknowledge the patients, nurses and paramedics who cared for them, and the resident and consultant doctors and in the departments of Endocrine and Breast surgery, Radiation Oncology, and Pathology at the SGPGIMS Lucknow for their role in treatment and follow-up the patients and maintaining various components of the database and electronic medical records.
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