Led by Neil with significant contributions from others in the lab (Osama Shah & Fangyuan (Chelsea) Chen), we studied trends of use of two interventions, sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and radiation therapy (RT), in elderly women with ER+, clinically node-negative breast cancer. Despite two national guidelines recommending against their use, trends of use by surgical oncologists and radiation oncologists remain quite high. We used propensity score matching to control for confounding and biases in retrospective analysis. Significantly, we found that omitting either SLNB or RT was a feasible approach to care and did not compromise recurrence free survival. Our results bolster the existing clinical guidelines recommending for de-implementation of these interventions.
This was a highly collaborative projects with input from authors in biostatistics, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, medical oncology, and specialists in women’s cancer.
Excitingly, this paper received quite a bit of attention in the media and in the field at large! We were thrilled to see Dr. Lee appear on multiple local TV news stations and Dr. McAuliffe making a number of radio appearances!
Link to paper on journal website: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2778563
Link to Hillman Cancer Center Press Release press release: https://hillmanresearch.upmc.edu/breast-cancer-treatment-study/
Link to Adrian’s KDKA segment: https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/video/5495249-upmc-study-not-all-breast-cancer-should-be-treated/
Link to Adrian’s WTAE segment: https://www.wtae.com/article/sometimes-less-is-better-study-looks-at-treatment-of-breast-cancer-patients-over-70/36159559