- Poster presentation
- Open Access
The QUEST study: a multicentre randomised trial to assess the impact of the type and timing of breast reconstruction on quality of life following mastectomy
© BioMed Central Ltd 2008
- Published: 13 May 2008
- Breast Reconstruction
- Latissimus Dorsi
- Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia
- Reconstructive Option
- Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction is performed to improve the quality of life and body image for women facing mastectomy. Whilst significant anecdotal evidence and surgical dogma exists regarding the optimal reconstructive practice, a comprehensive MEDLINE literature review has revealed a paucity of well designed, statistically powered studies to address the impact of either the type or the timing of breast reconstruction on these key patient-reported outcomes. There is little high-quality evidence to support the benefit of immediate versus delayed breast reconstruction, for example, or to suggest the superiority of autologous over implant-assisted reconstructions in terms of improvements in quality of life or body image, particularly in the context of postoperative radiotherapy (RT). There is also very limited evaluation of the impact of latissimus dorsi (LD) breast reconstruction, although this is the procedure most commonly offered by oncoplastic breast surgeons in the UK. There is currently, therefore, very little to guide patients or their surgeons in making important decisions regarding their reconstructive options.
The Quality of Life following Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction (QUEST) study aims to apply rigorous scientific methodology to definitively address causality and to address key reconstructive questions, thus ultimately providing patients and their surgeons with high-quality evidence as the basis for truly informed consent.
Women requiring mastectomy for invasive breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, atypical ductal hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ or other premalignant condition who request LD breast reconstruction are eligible for inclusion in the study.
A power calculation has suggested that 150 patients will be required in each study arm to detect an effect size of 0.4 at the 5% level with 90% confidence. As a randomised trial in breast reconstruction is a challenging prospect, the main study will be preceded by a 12-month feasibility study of the same design to assess patient recruitment to each study arm.
As the survival rate from breast cancer increases, quality of life becomes an increasingly significant outcome. This is an exciting, innovative and challenging project, but it is only through the use of rigorous scientific methodology that definitive evidence can be produced. Women facing mastectomy deserve truly informed decision-making regarding their reconstructive options. This is the QUEST.