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Mar 22, 2024, 15:23

Piotr J. Wysocki: Regular, personalized follow-up in breast cancer survivors may not improve long-term outcomes but significantly improves patients’ quality of life

Piotr J. Wysocki, Head of the Oncology Department at the

“Regular, personalised follow-up in breast cancer survivors may not improve long-term outcomes but significantly improves patients’ quality of life.

Results of a phase III study (MyHealth) evaluating the role of nurse-led, individualized follow-up versus standard physician-led visits have been just published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Saltbeck L et al. randomly assigned 503 stage I-II breast cancer patients who finished curative treatment to the investigational arm (nurse-led 3-5 individual self-management sessions, regular reporting of symptoms and navigation to health care services) or control arm (regular outpatient visits with a physician).

The primary endpoint of the study was breast cancer-specific quality of life (QoL) measured by the Trial Outcome Index-Physical/Functional/Breast (TOI-PFB) score of FACT-Breast at two years after randomization, with secondary endpoints being fear of recurrence, depression, anxiety, and health care utilization.

The individualized, nurse-led follow-up resulted in significantly higher QoL at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months compared with patients in the control group. Moreover, patients in the intervention group also reported significantly less fear of recurrence significantly lower symptoms of and significantly lower symptoms of depression at all time points tested.

The study by Saltbeck et al. provides very important information in light of recent data showing a lack of evidence for early recurrence detection and improved survival in low-risk patients undergoing regular physician-led follow-up, including regular diagnostic imaging.

The involvement of nurses or even social workers, volunteers, and family members educated to provide suitable support (similar to that in the MyHealth study) may strongly improve the QoL of breast cancer survivors, which cannot be overestimated.”

Source: Piotr J. Wysocki/LinkedIn