Risk of hematologic malignancies after breast ductal carcinoma in situ treatment with ionizing radiation

Kang Wang, Zhuyue Li, Xingxing Chen, Jianjun Zhang, Yongfu Xiong, Guochao Zhong, Yang Shi, Qing Li, Xiang Zhang, Hongyuan Li, Tingxiu Xiang, Theodoros Foukakis, Tomas Radivoyevitch, Guosheng Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increased incidence of secondary hematologic malignancies (SHM) is a well-known, potentially fatal, complication after cancer treatment. It is unknown if patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast treated with external beam radiotherapy (RT) and who survive long-term have increased risks of secondary hematologic malignancies (SHM), especially for low/intermediate-risk subsets with limited benefits from RT. DCIS patients in Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries (1975–2016) were identified. Relative risks (RR), hazard ratio (HR), and standardized incidence ratios (SIR) were calculated to assess the SHM risk and subsequent survival times. SHM development, defined as a nonsynchronous SHM occurring ≥1 year after DCIS diagnosis, was our primary endpoint. Of 184,363 eligible patients with DCIS, 77,927 (42.3%) in the RT group, and 106,436 (57.7%) in the non-RT group, 1289 developed SHMs a median of 6.4 years (interquartile range, 3.5 to 10.3 years) after their DCIS diagnosis. Compared with DCIS patients in the non-RT group, RT was associated with increased early risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; hazard ratio, 3.15; 95% CI, 1.21 to 8.17; P = 0.02), and a delayed risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL; hazard ratio, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.62; P < 0.001). This increased risk of ALL and NHL after RT was also observed in subgroup analyses restricted to low/intermediate-risk DCIS. In summary, our data suggest that RT after breast conserving surgery for DCIS patients should be cautiously tailored, especially for low and intermediate-risk patients. Long-term SHM surveillance after DCIS diagnosis is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
Journalnpj Breast Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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