Irradiation of regional nodes in breast cancer patients affects overall survival
the ONA take:
Irradiation of regional nodes in patients with stage I-III breast cancer has a minimal effect on overall survival, according to a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine; however, irradiation improved disease-free survival, distant-disease-free survival, and breast cancer mortality.
For the phase III trial, researchers enrolled 4,004 patients with positive axillary lymph nodes, or centrally or medially located primary tumors with negative lymph nodes. Patients were randomly assigned to receive whole-breast or thoracic-wall irradiation plus regional nodal irradiation or whole-breast or thoracic-wall irradiation alone.
Results showed that regional irradiation benefits patients with early stage breast cancer and acute adverse events associated with regional irradiation were modest.
However, the authors note that these results do not apply to patients with laterally located node-negative cancers, which represent the largest patient subgroup of early-stage breast cancers in first-world countries. The investigators plan to continue monitoring patients for a median follow-up of 20 years.
Irradiation of regional nodes in patients with stage I-III breast cancer has a minimal effect on overall survival.
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