Post‐operative radiotherapy for ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast
Background The addition of radiotherapy (RT) following breast conserving surgery (BCS) was first shown to reduce the risk of ipsilateral recurrence in the treatment of invasive breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a pre-invasive lesion. Recurrence of ipsilateral disease following BCS can be either DCIS or invasive breast cancer. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have shown that RT can reduce the risk of recurrence, but assessment of potential long-term complications from addition of RT following BSC for DCIS has not been reported for women participating in RCTs. Objectives To summarise the data from RCTs testing the addition of RT to BCS for treatment of DCIS to determine the balance between the benefits and harms. Search strategy We searched the Cochrane Breast Cancer Group Specialised Register (January 2008), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2008, Issue 1), MEDLINE (February 2008), and EMBASE (February 2008). Reference lists of articles and handsearching of ASCO (2007), ESMO (2002 to 2007), and St Gallen (2005 to 2007) conferences were performed. Selection criteria RCTs of breast conserving surgery with and without radiotherapy in women at first diagnosis of pure ductal carcinoma in situ (no invasive disease present). Data collection and analysis Two authors independently assessed each potentially eligible trial for inclusion and its quality. Two authors also independently extracted data from published Kaplan-Meier analysis (survival curves) and reported summary statistics. Data were extracted and pooled for four trials. Data for planned subgroups were extracted and pooled for analysis. There were insufficient data to pool for long-term toxicity from radiotherapy. Main results Four RCTs involving 3925 women were identified and included in this review. All were high quality with minimal risk of bias. Three trials compared the addition of RT to BCS. One trial was a two by two factorial design comparing the use of RT and tamoxifen, each separately or together, in which participants were randomised in at least one arm. Analysis confirmed a statistically significant benefit from the addition of radiotherapy on all ipsilateral breast events (hazards ratio (HR) 0.49; 95% CI 0.41 to 0.59, P < 0.00001) and ipsilateral DCIS recurrence (HR 0.64; 95% CI 0.41 to 1.01, P = 0.05). Pooled analysis for invasive recurrence did not reach statistical significance. All the subgroups analysed benefited from addition of radiotherapy. No significant long-term toxicity from radiotherapy was found. No information about short-term toxicity from radiotherapy or quality of life data were reported. Authors' conclusions This review confirms the benefit of adding radiotherapy to breast conserving surgery for the treatment of all women diagnosed with DCIS. No long-term toxicity from use of radiotherapy was identified.
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