Original Study|Articles in Press

Long-Term Adherence to Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy Following Various Radiotherapy Modalities in Early Stage Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer

Published:January 31, 2023DOI:



      We compared the rates of long-term adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) adherence after various radiation therapy (RT) modalities among patients with early stage breast cancer.

      Materials and Methods

      Medical records from patients with stage 0, I, or IIA (tumors ≤3 cm), hormone receptor (HR) positive breast cancer that received adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) from 2013 to 2015 at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. All patients received breast conserving surgery (BCS) followed by adjuvant RT via one of the following modalities: whole breast radiotherapy (WBI), partial breast irradiation (PBI) with either external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) or fractionated intracavitary high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, or single fraction HDR-brachytherapy intraoperative-radiation therapy (IORT).


      One hundred fourteen patients were reviewed. Thirty patients received WBI, 41 PBI, and 43 IORT with a median follow up of 64.2, 72.0, and 58.6 months, respectively. For the entire cohort, AET adherence was approximately 64% at 2 years and 56% at 5 years. Among patients in the IORT clinical trial, adherence to AET was approximately 51% at 2 years and 40% at 5 years. After controlling for additional factors, DCIS histology (vs invasive disease) and IORT (compared to other radiation modalities) were associated with decreased endocrine therapy adherence (P < 0.05).


      DCIS histology and receipt of IORT were associated with lower rates of adherence to AET at 5 years. Our findings suggest that examination of the efficacy of RT interventions such as PBI and IORT in patients who do not receive AET is warranted.

      Key words

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