Authors: Satram-Hoang Sacha, Stein Alisha, Cortazar Patricia, Momin Faiyaz, Reyes Carolina
Title: Increased Mortality Risk among Early Stage Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer Patients Who Did Not Receive Adjuvant or Neoadjuvant Therapy
Journal: J Cancer Ther 10(1):1-20
Date: 2019 Jan 04
Abstract: Background: Hormone receptor positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) is the most common biologic subtype of breast cancer. Although adjuvant therapy has demonstrated a survival benefit in clinical trials, its use is poorly understood in the real-world among elderly breast cancer patients since age is a barrier to receiving adjuvant therapy. An examination of treatment patterns and outcomes associated with receipt of adjuvant/neoadjuvant therapy among elderly HR + HER2-breast cancer patients was undertaken. Methods: There were 18,470 HR + HER2-breast cancer patients from the linked SEER-Medicare database. Patients were diagnosed with stage I-III disease between 1/1/2007-12/31/2011, ≥66 years, enrolled in Medicare Parts A, B and D, and underwent breast cancer surgery after diagnosis. Time-varying Cox proportional hazards regression assessed overall survival. Results: There were 13,670 (74%) patients treated with adjuvant/neoadjuvant therapy and 4800 (26%) untreated. Compared to treated patients, untreated patients were older, had earlier stage, lower grade, smaller tumors, poorer performance, higher comorbidity score, and less use of a 21-gene recurrence score (RS) assay (p < 0.0001). In the survival model, increasing age, stage, tumor size, tumor grade, comorbidity score and poor performance were significantly associated with higher mortality risks, while use of an RS assay was associated with lower risks. The Cox model showed a 48% higher risk of death in untreated compared to treated patients. In a subset of 8967 patients with stage I disease, tumor size < 2.0 cm and grade 1/2; untreated patients had a 22% higher risk of death compared to treated patients. Conclusions: Older patients with favorable clinical characteristics (earlier stage, smaller tumor, lower grade) are less likely to be treated and have a higher risk of death compared to adjuvant/neoadjuvant treated patients. An unmet need among older breast cancer patients persists.