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Radiotherapy for DCIS still protects against recurrence after 15 years
Date:3/22/2012

Vienna, Austria: Radiotherapy treatment (RT) after surgery for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) [1] still has a major protective effect against recurrence more than 15 years later, according to the results of an international trial. Researchers found that the use of RT in addition to surgery could reduce the chances of a local recurrence (the cancer coming back in the same breast) by 50%. Results from the trial, which has one of the longest follow-ups of a large group of patients in the world to date, will be reported today (Thursday) to the 8th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-8).

Dr. Mila Donker, a research physician from the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, worked with colleagues from thirteen other countries under the auspices of the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), based in Brussels, Belgium. They analysed the 15-year follow-up of more than 1000 DCIS patients, 50% of whom had received RT after total surgical excision of a tumour of less than 5cm diameter and 50% who had not. When radiotherapy had not been given, almost one in three women had developed a local recurrence, while the 50% risk reduction in those patients who had had RT held true for both an in-situ and an invasive cancer recurrence, where the cancer had spread outside the duct.

The 15-year cumulative incidence for DCIS recurrence in the surgery group was 14.9%, as opposed to 7.5% in those patients in the combined group (surgery plus radiotherapy), and for an invasive recurrence the rates were 15.5% (surgery only) and 9.8% (combined). Although no survival difference was seen between the surgery alone and the surgery plus RT group, women who had an invasive recurrence had a significantly worse survival compared with those who had a DCIS recurrence or no recurrence at all.

"We found that the majority of the DCIS recurrences occurred within five years of treatment, a
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary.rice@riceconseil.eu
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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