Survival of Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer: Twenty-year Data from Two SEER Registries
Background: Many researchers are interested to know if there are any improvements in recent treatment results for metastatic breast cancer in the community, especially for 10- or 15-year survival.
Methods: Between 1981 and 1985, 782 and 580 female patients with metastatic breast cancer were extracted respectively from the Connecticut and San Francisco-Oakland registries of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. The lognormal statistical method to estimate survival was retrospectively validated since the 15-year cause-specific survival rates could be calculated using the standard life-table actuarial method. Estimated rates were compared to the actuarial data available in 2000. Between 1991 and 1995, further 752 and 632 female patients with metastatic breast cancer were extracted respectively from the Connecticut and San Francisco-Oakland registries. The data were analyzed to estimate the 15-year cause-specific survival rates before the year 2005.
Results: The 5-year period (1981-1985) was chosen, and patients were followed as a cohort for an additional 3 years. The estimated 15-year cause-specific survival rates were 7.1% (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.8-12.4) and 9.1% (95% CI, 3.8-14.4) by the lognormal model for the two registries of Connecticut and San Francisco-Oakland respectively. Since the SEER database provides follow-up information to the end of the year 2000, actuarial calculation can be performed to confirm (validate) the estimation. The Kaplan-Meier calculation for the 15-year cause-specific survival rates were 8.3% (95% CI, 5.8-10.8) and 7.0% (95% CI, 4.3-9.7) respectively. Using the 1991-1995 5-year period cohort and followed for an additional 3 years, the 15-year cause-specific survival rates were estimated to be 9.1% (95% CI, 3.8-14.4) and 14.7% (95% CI, 9.8-19.6) for the two registries of Connecticut and San Francisco-Oakland respectively.
Conclusions: For the period 1981-1985, the 15-year cause-specific survival for the Connecticut and the San Francisco-Oakland registries were comparable. For the period 1991-1995, there was not much change in survival for the Connecticut registry patients, but there was an improvement in survival for the San Francisco-Oakland registry patients.