The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) has announced the availability of a comprehensive consensus guideline for physicians treating breast cancer developed to help reduce health-care costs and improve the course of treatment. Developed in conjunction with the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the guideline outlines an evidence-based surgical treatment path to help patients avoid unnecessary surgery. “A significant portion of breast cancer surgeries in the United States are performed by our surgical oncologists, and the definition of an adequate margin has been a major controversy. Therefore, it was only natural that we decided to create a definitive guideline that helps to minimize unnecessary surgery while maintaining the excellent outcomes seen with lumpectomy and radiation therapy,” said Monica Morrow, MD, SSO Immediate Past President and Co-Chair of the consensus panel. Dr. Morrow is Chief of Breast Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.
Goals and Expectations
“Our hope is that this guideline will ultimately lead to significant reductions in the high reexcision rate for women with early-stage breast cancer undergoing breast-conserving surgery. Based on the consensus panel’s extensive review of the literature, the vast majority of re-excisions are unnecessary because disease control in the breast is excellent with early-stage disease when radiation and hormonal therapy and/or chemotherapy are added to a woman’s treatment plan,” said Meena S. Moran, MD, Associate Professor of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center and Co-Chair of the Margin Consensus Panel.
The guideline was produced with a grant from Susan G. Komen and is endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS). It may be downloaded now by visiting the SSO website, http://www.surgonc.org/margins-study. ■
Editor’s note: A comprehensive review of the guideline with added commentary from Dr. Morrow will be published in the next issue of The ASCO Post.