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Specific lymph node radiotherapy is well-tolerated after surgery in early breast cancer patients
Date:3/26/2010

e will see a survival benefit of at least five percent in patients at the time of the primary analysis," Dr Poortmans will say. "With a median follow-up of over seven years, 558 patients have died, so the estimated 10-year overall survival rate of 79%󈞿% is even above the anticipated range," he added.

The majority of patients (76%) had breast-conserving surgery and the remainder had undergone complete removal of their breast (24%). All patients (99.4%) who had breast-conserving surgery received standard radiotherapy to the breast as well as a boost, and 73% of mastectomy treated patients received chest wall radiotherapy. Following this, patients were randomised to receive IM-MS lymph node radiotherapy or no further lymph node therapy.

Radiotherapy is usually given after breast cancer surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain in the breast, chest wall, or underarm area, in order to reduce the risk of a local recurrence of cancer in that breast. But there is disagreement amongst cancer experts regarding the management of the internal mammary lymph nodes (lymph nodes located behind the breast bone) in patients with breast cancer. The question of whether specific internal mammary lymph node radiotherapy leads to improved survival in women with early breast cancer is currently being addressed by the EORTC radiotherapy and breast cancer groups.

Dr Poortmans said that the final overall survival data analysis will show if internal mammary lymph node radiotherapy provides local control and improves overall survival in women with early breast cancer. "This is an important issue for radiotherapists and breast cancer patients alike, and we are eagerly awaiting the efficacy results from this trial," he says.


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Contact: Kay Roche
kayroche@gmail.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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