Reducing the global breast cancer burden: the importance of patterns of care research. Clinical breast cancer Albain, K. S., De la Garza Salazar, J., Pienkowski, T., Aapro, M., Bergh, J., Caleffi, M., Coleman, R., Eiermann, W., Icli, F., Pegram, M., Piccart, M., Snyder, R., Toi, M., Hortobagyi, G. N. 2005; 6 (5): 412-420


Breast cancer treatment guidelines are not uniformly followed in clinical practice, with evidence for substantial variations in treatment patterns, quality of care, and patient outcomes among and within countries. The factors that drive treatment decisions are unclear. Furthermore, the impact of different treatment strategies on survival is poorly understood outside the clinical trial setting. Sources of patterns of care information often have limitations in completeness, quality, timeliness of reporting, and relevance to the larger population. Patterns of care studies frequently lack details on cancer stage at diagnosis, tumor biology, and treatment received. It is difficult to compare data between studies and/or track changes over time because of variations in data sources and collection techniques. Thus, the design and implementation of a global registry is sorely needed in order to prospectively evaluate worldwide patterns of care and outcomes in patients with breast cancer. Components of this registry should include random selection of centers of variable practice settings in multiple countries and accurate and rapid data reporting at prestudy and follow-up timepoints. Data collected would include tumor and demographic factors, staging information, treatment rendered, and survival. Variables that influenced the treatment selected would be assessed. This unique international effort would allow the development of strategies to improve diagnostic and treatment-related standards of care and survival outcomes, thus reducing the breast cancer burden worldwide.

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