The impact of immediate breast reconstruction on the time to delivery of adjuvant therapy: the iBRA-2 study

Rachel L. O'Connell, Tim Rattay, Rajiv V. Dave, Adam Trickey, Joanna Skillman, Nicola L. P. Barnes, Matthew Gardiner, Adrian Harnett, Shelley Potter, Chris Holcombe, on behalf of the iBRA-2 Steering Group, Breast Reconstruction Research Collaborative

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Immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) is routinely offered to improve quality-of-life for women requiring mastectomy, but there are concerns that more complex surgery may delay adjuvant oncological treatments and compromise long-term outcomes. High-quality evidence is lacking. The iBRA-2 study aimed to investigate the impact of IBR on time to adjuvant therapy.

Consecutive women undergoing mastectomy ± IBR for breast cancer July–December, 2016 were included. Patient demographics, operative, oncological and complication data were collected. Time from last definitive cancer surgery to first adjuvant treatment for patients undergoing mastectomy ± IBR were compared and risk factors associated with delays explored.

A total of 2540 patients were recruited from 76 centres; 1008 (39.7%) underwent IBR (implant-only [n = 675, 26.6%]; pedicled flaps [n = 105,4.1%] and free-flaps [n = 228, 8.9%]). Complications requiring re-admission or re-operation were significantly more common in patients undergoing IBR than those receiving mastectomy. Adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy was required by 1235 (48.6%) patients. No clinically significant differences were seen in time to adjuvant therapy between patient groups but major complications irrespective of surgery received were significantly associated with treatment delays.

IBR does not result in clinically significant delays to adjuvant therapy, but post-operative complications are associated with treatment delays. Strategies to minimise complications, including careful patient selection, are required to improve outcomes for patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883–895
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Early online date29 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019

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