More radiation may decrease breast cancer recurrence risk in some patients

the ONA take:

After conservation surgery, some women who undergo additional radiation given to the lymph nodes along with whole-breast irradiation may be at a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers led by Tim Whelan, MD, of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine looked at women with axillary node-positive or high-risk node-negative breast cancer in order to determine whether adding regional node irradiation to whole-breast irradiation proved more beneficial than whole-breast irradiation alone.

More than 1,800 patients were included in the 14-year study as part of NCIC Clinical Trials Group at Queen’s University in Ontario.

They found that additional radiation to the surrounding lymph nodes reduced risk of subsequence recurrence both locally and at sites distant from the breast.

“This study is important because it shows that additional radiation to the surrounding lymph nodes provides added benefit to women, particularly those with involvement of the lymph nodes in the axilla,” Dr. Whelan said.  “Further research is necessary to determine which women are most likely to benefit and who may avoid the additional radiation.”

More radiation may decrease breast cancer recurrence risk in some patients
Some women who undergo additional radiation along with whole-breast irradiation may be at a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence.
A study has found no increase in overall survival but a reduction in breast cancer recurrence when additional radiation is given to the lymph nodes as well as the standard treatment of whole-breast irradiation after breast-conserving surgery.
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