Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Can Older Women With Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Benefit From Adjuvant Chemotherapy?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, March 22, 2021

Research presented in The Lancet Oncology reported that chemotherapy appears to be worth consideration in patients aged 70 years or older with triple-negative breast cancer. Christopher M. Pezzi, MD, of Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, Jacksonville, Florida, and colleagues sought to determine the effect of adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy on this population’s overall survival.

The study included data from 16,062 women aged 70 or older with surgically treated, stage I to III invasive triple-negative breast cancer who had been diagnosed between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2014. The National Cancer Database was used as the source of these data. Patients were categorized into three groups: those for whom chemotherapy was recommended but not administered, those who received chemotherapy, and those for whom chemotherapy had been neither recommended nor administered. The median follow-up was 38.3 months.

The 5-year overall survival estimate was 62.3%.  Patients who had received chemotherapy had a 5-year estimated overall survival of 68.5%, versus 61.1% for patients receiving a recommendation for chemotherapy but not the treatment itself and 53.7% for patients neither receiving a recommendation nor chemotherapy. A comparison of those who had received chemotherapy and those who had received a recommendation alone (n = 1,884 matched pairs) in a propensity score–matched sample revealed an improved overall survival rate for those receiving the treatment. This benefit continued to be identified for node-negative women (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.80 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.66–0.97]; P = .007), node-positive women (HR = 0.76 [95% CI = 0.64–0.91]; P = .006), and women with a comorbidity score above 0 (HR = 0.74 [95% CI = 0.59–0.94]; P = .013) following sample stratification.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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