Milan — A new study suggests that lipofilling is a safe technique for breast reconstruction following cancer surgery, Medical News Today reports.
Researchers at Milan’s European Institute of Oncology (IEO) analyzed data on 321 women who had had surgery for primary breast cancer there between 1997 and 2008, and who had received lipofilling as part of their breast reconstruction. These women were matched with 642 women who also had had surgery for primary breast cancer but did not undergo lipofilling.
After follow-up for an average of 56 months after the primary surgery and 26 months after the lipofilling, investigators found that eight women in the lipofillling group and 19 women in the control group had a local recurrence of their cancer — a statistically insignificant difference.
In women with noninvasive cancer, there were three cases of recurrence in the lipofilling group and none in the control group. While this was statistically significant, the authors wrote, it may have been affected by the very small numbers involved, the short follow-up and the fact that there were no recurrences in the control group despite previous research suggesting there should be an average recurrence rate of more than 2 percent over this period of time.
Medical News Today quotes author Jean Yves Petit, M.D., chairman of breast reconstructive surgery at IEO, as saying, “To date, only a few studies have focused on cancer recurrences after lipofilling, and this is the first case-control study to investigate the question and the first publication to show the safety of the procedure. Our overall results do not find any difference in recurrences between the women in the lipofilling and control groups.”
However, he noted, it is still too early in the follow-up to be able to draw definitive conclusions.
“We urge other teams working in the same field to gather their own results concerning local recurrences after lipofilling in breast conservation treatment,” he says.
The study was published in Annals of Oncology.