Pattern of care of adjuvant radiotherapy in male breast cancer patients in clinical practice: an observational study.
Rogowski Paul,Schönecker Stephan,Pazos Montserrat,Reitz Daniel,Braun Michael,Pölcher Martin,Hanusch Claus,Wuerstlein Rachel,Harbeck Nadia,Mahner Sven,Belka Claus,Corradini Stefanie
Strahlentherapie und Onkologie : Organ der Deutschen Rontgengesellschaft ... [et al]
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Due to the rarity of male breast cancer (male BC), no consensus has been reached regarding the most appropriate curative treatment strategy. The objective of the present observational study was to identify patient and tumor characteristics and assess the role of radiotherapy (RT) in clinical practice. METHODS:Between 1998 and 2014, data of male BC patients treated at two breast centers were consecutively collected and retrospectively analyzed. Patients were stratified based on the addition of adjuvant RT. Data on overall survival (OS) and local recurrence-free survival (LRFS) were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method and compared by the log-rank test. RESULTS:A consecutive cohort of 58 male BC patients was evaluated. Median follow-up was 56 months. Twenty-one patients (36.2%) received adjuvant RT. Overall, patients undergoing postoperative RT were characterized by more high-risk features. Patients receiving postoperative RT had significantly more frequently a high UICC stage (50 vs. 9.7% UICC III, p = 0.018) and positive lymph nodes as compared to patients undergoing surgery alone (65 vs. 34.4% pN+, p = 0.046). Accordingly, there was a higher proportion of patients receiving axillary lymph node dissection in the RT group (71.4 vs. 35.6%). Mastectomy was performed in 31/37 (86.1%) in the surgery group as compared to 14/21 (66.7%) in patients receiving postoperative RT. In addition, RT patients were more likely to receive endocrine therapy (78.9 vs. 39.3%, p = 0.016). Outcome was not significantly different between the groups (5-year LRFS: 89.8 vs. 80.0%, p = 0.471 and 5‑year OS 88.4 vs. 88.9%, p = 0.819). CONCLUSION:The present observational study evaluated the pattern of care in male BC patients treated in clinical practice. Due to its rarity, randomized clinical trials are unlikely and male BC remains an entity with a poor evidence base. Nevertheless, RT remains a crucial component of the multidisciplinary treatment strategy in male BC.