Navigation Links
Study Questions Guidelines on Radiation for Older Breast Cancer Patients
Date:8/13/2012

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Giving radiation treatment to older women with early-stage breast cancer who have undergone a lumpectomy could lower their risk of needing a mastectomy later on, new research shows.

This suggests that current guidelines recommending that these older patients not have radiation need to be updated, stated the authors of the study, published online Aug. 13 in the journal Cancer.

"Overall in this group of women, radiation was associated with a decrease in mastectomy," said study senior author Dr. Benjamin Smith, an assistant professor of radiation therapy at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston. "The absolute decrease was small but it was certainly measurable."

The current treatment guidelines recommend that older women with early, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (a cancer that responds to estrogen) that has not spread to the lymph nodes undergo a lumpectomy to remove the tumor, followed by hormonal therapy but no radiation.

The guidelines were largely based on a 2004 study that concluded that radiation in this group of women only slightly decreased the odds of cancer recurring compared to receiving the estrogen-blocking drug tamoxifen alone.

The risk of a recurrence is very low in older women compared to younger women, for whom radiation following lumpectomy is more routinely recommended.

In the new study, the authors reviewed the medical records of more than 7,400 women aged 70 to 79 who had undergone a lumpectomy for early-stage, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer between 1992 and 2002.

Almost 90 percent of these women had received radiation after surgery.

After a follow-up period of 10 years, 6.3 percent of women who did not get radiation needed a mastectomy versus only 3.2 percent of women who had received radiation.

It's not clear why these women had to have a mastectomy but the most plausible reason is that the cancer recurred, the authors stated.

Certain women seemed to benefit more from radiation than others, namely those with high-grade (aggressive) tumors, Smith said.

"These are highly aggressive-looking cell types," said Dr. Philip Bonanno, director of the breast program at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. "This is a tumor that we know is going to be a bad actor given enough time."

Radiation was not particularly beneficial in patients who were 75 and older who did not have high-grade tumors and whose cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes, he added.

The study did not assess survival rates.

The study did have some limitations, namely that it was not designed to assess cause and effect, nor did it have information on which women took hormonal therapy, which can reduce the risk of a recurrence by about 50 percent.

And radiation itself has drawbacks, including the inconvenience of having to go to a medical facility every weekday for six weeks (usually), as well as fatigue and breast pain.

It's unclear if the findings will be practice changing, Smith said.

At the very least, he said, the paper should help clarify which older patients would benefit the most from radiation.

"I view this paper as adding a very nice layer of nuance on top of those guidelines," he said. "In our practice group, we'll be more enthusiastic about radiation in high-grade tumors and less enthusiastic in low-grade tumors, particularly in older women."

"Women over 75 years of age are not all the same and neither are their cancers," Bonanno agreed.

The study was partially funded by Varian Medical Systems, which makes radiation equipment. Other funding came from the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More information

There's more on breast cancer treatment at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Benjamin D. Smith, M.D., assistant professor, radiation therapy, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Philip C. Bonanno, M.D., director, breast program, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mt. Kisco, N.Y; Aug. 13, 2012, Cancer, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. BUSM researchers part of multi-center study on cardiac amyloidosis
2. Study links persistent and loud snoring in young children with problem behaviors
3. Study: Majority of older, early-stage breast cancer patients benefit from radiation after lumpectomy
4. Daily Aspirin May Cut Cancer Deaths, Another Study Finds
5. Study adds to evidence daily aspirin linked to lower cancer mortality
6. Dental Woes Abound for Developmentally Disabled: Study
7. Babies of Heavy Moms Grow Slower: Study
8. Exergames Can Help Inactive Folks Get Moving: Study
9. Workers With Disabilities More Prone to Injuries: Study
10. Pay Attention in Preschool, Graduate From College: Study
11. Statins Heart Benefits Outweigh Diabetes Risk: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study Questions Guidelines on Radiation for Older Breast Cancer Patients
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 ... Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high ... low, risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant ... of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... taking part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients ... for an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... National recruitment firm ... sciences executive with extensive sequencing and genomics experience, as Vice President of North American ... Hill will be responsible for leading the sales team in the commercialization of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( www.vmsrehabsystemsinc.com ) reported today ... to build a strong and stable market for trading ... the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. Explains ... seeing an anomaly in market trading activities that may ... Company, but shareholders and market players as well. I ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick ... Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University ... for Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are ... labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like ... any needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: