About 1 in 5 breast cancer survivors who have completed 5 years of adjuvant systemic therapy (AST) suffer a recurrence within the 10 years after their treatment, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Context and Caveats
Adjuvant and neoadjuvant systemic therapy (AST) improves the survival of breast cancer patients, but there is still a risk that the disease will recur years later.
Disease recurrence among breast cancer patients who were disease free 5 years after AST (the landmark) was estimated 5 and 10 years after landmark. Multivariable analysis was used to identify factors associated with recurrence.
Rates of recurrence-free survival at 5 years and 10 years after landmark were 89% and 80%, respectively. The risk of recurrence 5 years after therapy increased with tumor stage (stage 1: 7%, stage II: 11%, and stage 3: 13%) and was also associated with tumor grade, hormone receptor status, and endocrine therapy.
Breast cancer patients who undergo AST are at risk of late recurrences, and this risk is associated with certain characteristics of the original tumor.
HER2/neu status was not included in the analysis because the data were not available; aromatase inhibitor treatment was not included because too few women received it.
Sources and full study:
Residual Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence 5 Years After Adjuvant Therapy, JNCI, June 2008, Vol 100, Issue 16Pp. 1179-1183.
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