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Comparison of 1-year recurrence-free survival between sevoflurane and propofol use for general anesthesia management in primary breast cancer surgery

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We evaluated the influence of anesthetic management with sevoflurane or propofol on recurrence in patients undergoing breast cancer surgery.


This single center, retrospective study, included patients who received either sevoflurane or propofol during primary breast cancer surgery between 2008 and 2012. Our primary outcome was recurrence-free survival (RFS) at 1 year. Recurrence was defined as locoregional recurrence and distal metastasis. Propensity scores were calculated using seven variables (age, sex, body mass index, cancer stage, tumor size, intrinsic subtype, and deviation from standard therapy), and Kaplan–Meier survival curves were constructed from the date of diagnosis of recurrence. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated using univariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis.


Two-hundred-twelve patients received sevoflurane and 814 patients received total intravenous anesthesia with propofol. The median follow-up was 59 (interquartile range, 44–75) months. Regional anesthetic techniques were not used. Recurrence occurred in 95 patients (9.26%), with 19 (8.96%) and 76 (9.33%) in the sevoflurane and propofol groups, respectively. The HR was 1.167 (95% confidence interval, 0.681–2.000, p = 0.574) for the use of sevoflurane over propofol. After 1:1 propensity-score matching, 318 patients were analyzed. The 1-year RFS rates were similar between the groups (sevoflurane group: 7.5% [n = 12], propofol group: 8.2% [n = 13]), yielding an HR of 1.002 (95% confidence interval 0.457–2.198, p = 0.995) associated with the use of sevoflurane over propofol.


In patients undergoing primary breast cancer surgery, the use of either sevoflurane or propofol without regional anesthesia did not appear to affect the risk of recurrence after 1 year.

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Correspondence to Sho C. Shibata.

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Shiono, S., Shibata, S.C., Kabata, D. et al. Comparison of 1-year recurrence-free survival between sevoflurane and propofol use for general anesthesia management in primary breast cancer surgery. J Anesth 34, 694–701 (2020).

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