New Study Shows Lumpectomy With Radiation Therapy to Treat Breast Cancer in a Community Setting Results in Higher Than Average Patient Survival Rates

Vantage Oncology and Valley Radiotherapy Associates Medical Group
examined more than 1,100 breast cancer patients

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A recently published study
in The Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology identifies
two key research findings regarding breast cancer treatment options.
First, breast conservation treatment (BCT), i.e. lumpectomy plus
radiation therapy, delivered in a community setting resulted in overall
survival rates that are higher than the national average. Second, BCT
resulted in overall survival rates that are higher than the national
average when compared to other available treatment options.1

“We have been treating breast cancer patients in the community setting
for several decades and believe we have positively influenced the level
of quality care,” said Leslie
Botnick, M.D.
, chief medical officer for Vantage Oncology. “We
conducted this study because breast cancer is one of the most commonly
treated cancers in radiation oncology. It is very often treated in
community settings across the country where many of our affiliated
centers have a footprint. We now have demonstration that breast cancer
treatment in the community setting has excellent results, with survival
rates as good – if not better – than the national average, which
includes treatment in the hospital setting.”

“The other bottom line result was that BCT offers excellent survival
rates, supporting the idea that breast conservation inclusive of
radiation reflects quality care,” said Vantage Radiation Oncologist May
Lin Tao, M.D.
“There is a worrisome pendulum swing nowadays away
from breast conserving surgery and radiation in situations that are
still quite amenable to this approach. These data give excellent
reassurance that patients can have superb survival results with this BCT
rather than more aggressive surgical options.”

Tao added, “These results are achievable in community settings when care
is well-coordinated among specialists who are invested in a high level
of care. Often times, women don’t get all of their expected treatment
after surgery, such as radiation therapy. We have been fortunate to
implement a virtual multidisciplinary care program in our community
practices, building on the local expertise of breast surgeons, medical
oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists.”

The study was funded by Vantage
, and co-authored by Vantage Oncology and Valley
Radiotherapy Associates Medical Group (VRA)
physicians and clinicians. The purpose of this collaborative research
was to determine the rates of positive clinical outcome of BCT in a
large urban community, overall survival after conservation therapy, and
compare these with national rates.

As part of the study, 1,172 patients diagnosed with T1-2, N0 breast
cancer from 1997-2007 were identified in the Providence St. Joseph
Medical Center, Burbank, Calif. hospital tumor registry. These results
were compared to the rates of BCT and receipt of radiation therapy with
a similar population in the SEER [Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End
Results] database (N = 232,898) for the same treatment period.

Results showed the rate of breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or lumpectomy
was higher in the studied practice compared with the national average
(90.9 percent and 66.4 percent, respectively). Similarly, the rate of
receipt of radiation after BCS in the studied practice was 93.7 percent,
which was also very high as compared to the national average of 74.4
percent. Most importantly, the survival estimates were higher for
patients treated with breast conserving surgery plus radiation in the
studied practice across all age groups (92.5 percent) compared with the
national estimates (82.4 percent).

Botnick noted, “The quality care metrics of rate of breast conservation
and the receipt of radiation therapy after BCS were very high in our
community setting. That rate has been shown to vary substantially by
geographic region in the U.S. rather than by medical indication, with
omission rates exceeding 30 percent in some areas2.
Furthermore, pooled analyses have shown that omission of radiation after
BCS results in higher breast recurrence rates and even a small increase
risk in patient mortality.3

In an effort to progress toward value-based payments from the
traditional fee-for-service model, Vantage’s affiliated physician
practice in California, VRA, recently partnered with Anthem
Blue Cross of California
in an agreement
to create a single episode-of-care payment for patients with a breast
cancer diagnosis requiring radiation therapy treatment.

“We feel one of the reasons we were able to partner with a large payor
like Anthem was because we have demonstrated we can provide effective
care at a sustainable cost. This is appealing to a payor entity looking
to make sure the level of care and patient satisfaction provided to its
beneficiaries is high and value-based,” added Botnick.

About Vantage Oncology

Founded in October 2002, Manhattan Beach, California-based Vantage
Oncology is a leading national provider of radiation oncology, medical
oncology and other value-based integrated cancer care services and is
owned by McKesson
Specialty Health
. The company’s founding principles are to address
the growing need among cancer patients, hospitals and physicians for
accessible and advanced cancer treatments. Vantage currently operates
more than 50 treatment facilities in 13 states.

About Valley Radiotherapy Associates Medical Group, Inc.

Founded in 1983 by Leslie E. Botnick, M.D., and Christopher M. Rose,
M.D., Valley Radiotherapy Associates Medical Group, Inc. (VRA) of
Manhattan Beach, California, has 32 board-certified Radiation
Oncologists and provides advanced radiation therapy services to
communities at 16 hospitals and freestanding centers in Los Angeles,
Orange, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino Counties in California.
VRA has distinguished itself during the past 33 years as one of the
premier radiation oncology groups in the nation with a proven record of
excellence in clinical treatment, superiority in service delivery and
technical acumen to develop new cancer treatment programs. For more
information, visit

1 Tao ML, Mautner BD, Ray HE, et al. Long-term
Community-based Results of Breast Conserving Therapy in Early-stage
Breast Cancer. JCSO 2016; 14:249-254.

2J Clin Oncol (2002) 20(21): 4381-93)

3 JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2004) 96(2): 115-121


Vantage Oncology
Jennifer Jenkins, APR, 251-591-4974