Effect of treatment interruptions on overall survival in patients with triple-negative breast cancer

Ronald Chow, Shaakir Hasan, J. Isabelle Choi, Jana Fox, Arpit M. Chhabra, Deborah C. Marshall, Richard L. Bakst, Charles B. Simone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Currently, there are no data regarding the impact of treatment interruptions during radiotherapy for breast cancer. In this study, we examine the correlation between treatment interruptions during radiotherapy and outcomes in triple-negative breast cancer patients. METHODS: A total of 35 845 patients with triple-negative breast cancer treated between 2010 and 2014 were identified and analyzed from the National Cancer Database. The number of interrupted radiotherapy treatment days was calculated as the difference between the total elapsed days from the start to end of radiation treatment (both initial treatment and boost treatment, when boost was administered) and the total number of expected treatment days, defined as the number of expected treatment days with an addition of 2 weekend days for every multiple of 5 treatment days. Binomial multivariate regression analysis was used to detect correlates of treatment interruptions, and propensity-score matched multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate the association between treatment interruption and overall survival (OS). RESULTS: When modeled as a continuous variable, longer treatment duration was associated with poorer OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.023, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.015 to 1.031). In reference to 0-1 days of interruption, patients with 2-5 interrupted days (HR = 1.069, 95% CI = 1.002 to 1.140 interrupted days), 6-10 interrupted days (HR = 1.239, 95% CI = 1.140 to 1.348 interrupted days), and 11-15 interrupted days (HR = 1.265, 95% CI = 1.126 to 1.431 interrupted days) experienced increasing likelihood of mortality. CONCLUSION: In the first study of its kind, we report a correlation between treatment interruptions during adjuvant radiotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer and OS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1035
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number9
StatePublished - 7 Sep 2023


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