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Timing of Chemo in Breast Cancer Patients

Clin Breast Cancer; ePub 2017 Feb 16; Cohen, et al

A decreased time between chemotherapy and surgical breast reconstruction does not predispose patients to postoperative complications, according to a recent study that evaluated how the timing of chemotherapy for breast cancer affects post-reconstruction complications and to determine whether there is an optimal time for breast reconstruction following chemotherapy. 344 breast cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy with mastectomy and autologous/prosthetic reconstruction from 2011-2014 and a control group of 127 patients without chemotherapy were included. Researchers found:

  • Patients who received chemotherapy were followed for an average of 803.4 days from initial reconstruction and experienced an overall greater complication rate compared to controls (32.8% vs 24.4%).
  • The chemotherapy group experienced more minor complications vs the control group (18% vs 11%); however, there were no statistically significant difference in major complication rates.
  • Patients who underwent surgery sooner after chemotherapy did not experience decreased overall complication rates.


Cohen O, Lam G, Karp N, Ceradini D. Does the timing of chemotherapy affect post-mastectomy breast cancer reconstruction complications? [Published online ahead of print February 16, 2017]. Clin Breast Cancer. doi:10.1016/j.clbc.2017.02.003.