Surgical oncologists at Breast Treatment Associates in Fayetteville, Arkansas, noticed changes in their practice after implementing use of the marker in 2012. The rate of BCS performed increased, cosmesis improved, and radiation courses were shorter for their patients in whom the marker was implanted.
Therefore, Michael Cross, MD, FACS, surgical oncologist, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 1115 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for breast cancer between January 2011 and October 2016 to determine the impact of use of the marker on the rate of breast-conserving procedures performed.2
The investigators analyzed demographic information, stage and type of disease, surgical treatment, re-excision rate, type of radiation therapy used, use of oncoplastic techniques, and cosmetic outcomes. They determined the percentage of surgical procedures that were BCS and compared rates of the procedure from 2011-2013 with those from 2014-2016.
BCS rates were 37.7% in 2011-2013 and 48% in 2014-2016, an increase in rates of BCS after implementing use of the marker.
“The study [results] does not give direct credit to BioZorb for the increase in the rate of BCS in my practice. It is a retrospective review that I decided was important to look at, as I began seeing marked improvement in the cosmetic outcomes of my patients,” Dr Cross noted in an interview with Oncology Nurse Advisor.
“I knew there were only 2 things that had changed in my practice: I started slowly using BioZorb and had increased its use as I saw the benefits in my patients; and the radiation damage to my surgical outcomes was markedly diminished over the last few years.”
Patients in whom the marker was implanted were enrolled in BZ007, an IRB-approved national registry database. Initial results indicated that cosmesis, as judged by health care providers and patients, was rated as excellent or good for more than 90% of patients at 1 year postimplantation. More than 2 years after implantation, cosmesis was still rated good or excellent by more than 85% of these patients.
Dr Cross’ experience was that the marker enables use of more oncoplastic techniques for partial breast construction, allows for optimized radiation therapy, and shorter course of radiation therapy for most patients. “The mammographic appearance of the breast reflects the improved cosmetic outcome that we see. Our radiologists are quantifying less scarring and fibrosis,” he explained.
Patients in whom the marker was implanted could undergo hypofractionation of radiation due to the accurate targeting of the excision site. Hypofractionation can lower treatment cost for patients and the health care system.
“Many of my patients live several hours away, and radiation requires them to travel in to receive treatment everyday, which usually requires them to stay locally. This gets very expensive for patients and is a major deterrent to many patients for BCS,” explained Dr Cross.