Should oncoplastic breast conserving surgery be used for the treatment of early stage breast cancer? Using the GRADE approach for development of clinical recommendations

Nicola Rocco, Giuseppe Catanuto, Michela Cinquini, et al.

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The potential advantages of oncoplastic breast conserving surgery (BCS) have not been validated in robust studies that constitute high levels of evidence, despite oncoplastic techniques being widely adopted around the globe. There is hence the need to define the precise role of oncoplastic BCS in the treatment of early breast cancer, with consensual recommendations for clinical practice.

A panel of world-renowned breast specialists was convened to evaluate evidence, express personal viewpoints and establish recommendations for the use of oncoplastic BCS as primary treatment of unifocal early stage breast cancers using the GRADE approach.

This review has revealed a low level of evidence for most of the important outcomes in oncoplastic surgery with lack of any randomized data and absence of standard tools for evaluation of clinical outcomes and especially patients’ values.

Despite areas of controversy, about one-third (36%) of panel members expressed a strong recommendation in support of oncoplastic BCS. Presumably, this reflects a synthesis of views on the relative complexity of these techniques, associated complications, impact on quality of life and costs.

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Giuseppe Catanuto


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