This press release is available in Spanish.
Barcelona, Spain: In patients with early breast cancer, giving radiotherapy to the lymph nodes located behind the breast bone and above the collar bone is well-tolerated, after mastectomy or breast conserving surgery, a radiation oncologist will tell delegates at the seventh European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC7) today (Saturday 27 March). Women at a high risk of developing breast cancer will probably benefit from additional lymph node radiotherapy, Dr Philip Poortmans, from the Dr. Bernard Verbeeten Instituut, Tilburg, The Netherlands, and a member of the EORTC* Radiation Oncology Group, will say.
Initial findings from the 4,004-patient multi-centre study carried out by the EORTC radiotherapy and breast cancer groups (46 institutions from 13 countries) show that there is no evidence of increased toxicity to the heart at three years follow-up in patients who received additional lymph node radiotherapy.
Patients will be followed-up for many years to see whether specific lymph-node radiotherapy could lead to long-term damage of the heart or the lungs, side effects that are associated with breast cancer radiotherapy.
Dr Philip Poortmans, one of the trial co-ordinators, will tell delegates that the longer-term aim of the EORTC study is to see whether giving additional radiotherapy to the lymph nodes located behind the breast bone and above the collar bone (internal mammary and medial supraclavicular [IM-MS] lymph nodes) to patients with early operable breast cancer will improve overall survival.
"The first analysis of the primary endpoint, overall survival at 10 years, was planned to be performed in 2012. However, thanks to the actual survival estimate that is even higher than expected, this might have to be postponed until 2014," Dr Poortmans will say.
"We are hopeful that w
|Contact: Kay Roche|
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation