Patterns of treatment and outcome of ductal carcinoma in situ in the Netherlands

J.D. Luiten*, E.J.T. Luiten, M.J.C. van der Sangen, W. Vreuls, L.E.M. Duijm, V.C.G. Tjan-Heijnen, A.C. Voogd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose To spare DCIS patients from overtreatment, treatment de-escalated over the years. This study evaluates the influence of these developments on the patterns of care in the treatment of DCIS with particular interest in the use of breast conserving surgery (BCS), radiotherapy following BCS and the use and type of axillary staging. Methods In this large population-based cohort study all women, aged 50-74 years diagnosed with DCIS from January 1989 until January 2019, were analyzed per two-year cohort. Results A total of 30,417 women were diagnosed with DCIS. The proportion of patients undergoing BCS increased from 47.7% in 1995-1996 to 72.7% in 2017-2018 (p < 0.001). Adjuvant radiotherapy following BCS increased from 28.9% (1995-1996) to 89.6% (2011-2012) and subsequently decreased to 74.9% (2017-2018; p < 0.001). Since its introduction, the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) increased to 63.1% in 2013-2014 and subsequently decreased to 52.8% in 2017-2018 (p < 0.001). Axillary surgery is already omitted in 55.8% of the patients undergoing BCS nowadays. The five-year invasive relapse-free survival (iRFS) for BCS with adjuvant radiotherapy in the period 1989-2010, was 98.7% [CI 98.4% - 99.0%], compared to 95.0% [CI 94.1% -95.8%] for BCS only (p < 0.001). In 2011-2018, this was 99.3% [CI 99.1% - 99.5%] and 98.8% [CI 98.2% - 99.4%] respectively (p = 0.01). Conclusions This study shows a shift toward less extensive treatment. DCIS is increasingly treated with BCS and less often followed by additional radiotherapy. The absence of radiotherapy still results in excellent iRFS. Axillary surgery is increasingly omitted in DCIS patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • american society
  • breast cancer screening
  • breast-conserving surgery
  • cancer radiotherapy
  • dcis
  • diagnostics
  • ductal carcinoma in situ
  • follow-up
  • lymph-node biopsy
  • overdiagnosis
  • phase-iii
  • risk
  • sentinel
  • treatment
  • Diagnostics
  • Breast cancer screening
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ
  • RISK
  • Treatment
  • DCIS

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