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IntroductionNeoadjuvant systemic anticancer therapy (neoSACT) is increasingly used in the treatment of early breast cancer. Response to therapy is prognostic and allows locoregional and adjuvant systemic treatments to be tailored to minimise morbidity and optimise oncological outcomes and quality of life. Accurate information about locoregional treatments following neoSACT is vital to allow the translation of downstaging benefits into practice and facilitate meaningful interpretation of oncological outcomes, particularly locoregional recurrence. Reporting of locoregional treatments in neoSACT studies, however, is currently poor. The development of a core outcome set (COS) and reporting guidelines is one strategy by which this may be improved.Methods and analysisA COS for reporting locoregional treatment (surgery and radiotherapy) in neoSACT trials will be developed in accordance with Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) and Core Outcome Set-Standards for Development guidelines. Reporting guidance will be developed concurrently.The project will have three phases: (1) generation of a long list of relevant outcome domains and reporting items from a systematic review of published neoSACT studies and interviews with key stakeholders. Identified items and domains will be categorised and formatted into Delphi consensus questionnaire items. (2) At least two rounds of an international online Delphi survey in which at least 250 key stakeholders (surgeons/oncologists/radiologists/pathologists/trialists/methodologists) will score the importance of reporting each outcome. (3) A consensus meeting with key stakeholders to discuss and agree the final COS and reporting guidance.Ethics and disseminationEthical approval for the consensus process will be obtained from the Queen's University Belfast Faculty Ethics Committee. The COS/reporting guidelines will be presented at international meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals. Dissemination materials will be produced in collaboration with our steering group and patient advocates so the results can be shared widely.RegistrationThe study has been prospectively registered on the COMET website (

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ open

Publication Date





Bristol Surgical and Perioperative Care Complex Intervention Collaboration, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.


Humans, Breast Neoplasms, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Treatment Outcome, Neoadjuvant Therapy, Endpoint Determination, Research Design, Quality of Life, Delphi Technique, Female, Systematic Reviews as Topic, Outcome Assessment, Health Care