Mammography in combination with breast ultrasonography versus mammography for breast cancer screening in women at average risk

A. Glechner, G. Wagner, J.W. Mitus, B. Teufer, I. Klerings, N. Böck, L. Grillich, D. Berzaczy, T.H. Helbich, G. Gartlehner

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftÜbersichtsartikelBegutachtung

Abstract

Background: Screening mammography can detect breast cancer at an early stage. Supporters of adding ultrasonography to the screening regimen consider it a safe and inexpensive approach to reduce false-negative rates during screening. However, those opposed to it argue that performing supplemental ultrasonography will also increase the rate of false-positive findings and can lead to unnecessary biopsies and treatments. Objectives: To assess the comparative effectiveness and safety of mammography in combination with breast ultrasonography versus mammography alone for breast cancer screening for women at average risk of breast cancer. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Breast Cancer Group's Specialised Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP), and ClinicalTrials.gov up until 3 May 2021. Selection criteria: For efficacy and harms, we considered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled non-randomised studies enrolling at least 500 women at average risk for breast cancer between the ages of 40 and 75. We also included studies where 80% of the population met our age and breast cancer risk inclusion criteria. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors screened abstracts and full texts, assessed risk of bias, and applied the GRADE approach. We calculated the risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) based on available event rates. We conducted a random-effects meta-analysis. Main results: We included eight studies: one RCT, two prospective cohort studies, and five retrospective cohort studies, enrolling 209,207 women with a follow-up duration from one to three years. The proportion of women with dense breasts ranged from 48% to 100%. Five studies used digital mammography; one study used breast tomosynthesis; and two studies used automated breast ultrasonography (ABUS) in addition to mammography screening. One study used digital mammography alone or in combination with breast tomosynthesis and ABUS or handheld ultrasonography. Six of the eight studies evaluated the rate of cancer cases detected after one screening round, whilst two studies screened women once, twice, or more. None of the studies assessed whether mammography screening in combination with ultrasonography led to lower mortality from breast cancer or all-cause mortality. High certainty evidence from one trial showed that screening with a combination of mammography and ultrasonography detects more breast cancer than mammography alone. The J-START (Japan Strategic Anti-cancer Randomised Trial), enrolling 72,717 asymptomatic women, had a low risk of bias and found that two additional breast cancers per 1000 women were detected over two years with one additional ultrasonography than with mammography alone (5 versus 3 per 1000; RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.94). Low certainty evidence showed that the percentage of invasive tumours was similar, with no statistically significant difference between the two groups (69.6% (128 of 184) versus 73.5% (86 of 117); RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.09). However, positive lymph node status was detected less frequently in women with invasive cancer who underwent mammography screening in combination with ultrasonography than in women who underwent mammography alone (18% (23 of 128) versus 34% (29 of 86); RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.86; moderate certainty evidence). Further, interval carcinomas occurred less frequently in the group screened by mammography and ultrasonography compared with mammography alone (5 versus 10 in 10,000 women; RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.89; 72,717 participants; high certainty evidence). False-negative results were less common when ultrasonography was used in addition to mammography than with mammography alone: 9% (18 of 202) versus 23% (35 of 152; RR 0.39, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.66; moderate certainty evidence). However, the number of false-positive results and necessary biopsies were higher in the group with additional ultrasonography screening. Amongst 1000 women who do not have cancer, 37 more received a false-positive result when they participated in screening with a combination of mammography and ultrasonography than with mammography alone (RR 1.43, 95% CI 1.37 to 1.50; high certainty evidence). Compared to mammography alone, for every 1000 women participating in screening with a combination of mammography and ultrasonography, 27 more women will have a biopsy (RR 2.49, 95% CI 2.28 to 2.72; high certainty evidence). Results from cohort studies with methodological limitations confirmed these findings. A secondary analysis of the J-START provided results from 19,213 women with dense and non-dense breasts. In women with dense breasts, the combination of mammography and ultrasonography detected three more cancer cases (0 fewer to 7 more) per 1000 women screened than mammography alone (RR 1.65, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.72; 11,390 participants; high certainty evidence). A meta-analysis of three cohort studies with data from 50,327 women with dense breasts supported this finding, showing that mammography and ultrasonography combined led to statistically significantly more diagnosed cancer cases compared to mammography alone (RR 1.78, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.56; 50,327 participants; moderate certainty evidence). For women with non-dense breasts, the secondary analysis of the J-START study demonstrated that more cancer cases were detected when adding ultrasound to mammography screening compared to mammography alone (RR 1.93, 95% CI 1.01 to 3.68; 7823 participants; moderate certainty evidence), whilst two cohort studies with data from 40,636 women found no statistically significant difference between the two screening methods (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.49; low certainty evidence). Authors' conclusions: Based on one study in women at average risk of breast cancer, ultrasonography in addition to mammography leads to more screening-detected breast cancer cases. For women with dense breasts, cohort studies more in line with real-life clinical practice confirmed this finding, whilst cohort studies for women with non-dense breasts showed no statistically significant difference between the two screening interventions. However, the number of false-positive results and biopsy rates were higher in women receiving additional ultrasonography for breast cancer screening. None of the included studies analysed whether the higher number of screen-detected cancers in the intervention group resulted in a lower mortality rate compared to mammography alone. Randomised controlled trials or prospective cohort studies with a longer observation period are needed to assess the effects of the two screening interventions on morbidity and mortality. Copyright © 2023 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
OriginalspracheEnglisch
AufsatznummerCD009632
Seiten (von - bis)CD009632
FachzeitschriftCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Jahrgang3
Ausgabenummer3
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 31 März 2023

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