Post-mastectomy radiation may not be helpful for early-stage breast cancer

Patients with early-stage breast cancer may not need radiation following mastectomy, according to a study presented at the 2010 Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Symposium.

“There is currently no question that radiotherapy after mastectomy is effective at decreasing the chances of LRR [long-range recurrence] and is indicated in breast cancer patients with lymph node spread in greater than four nodes and where the risk of LRR is higher than 10% to 15%,” explained Henry Kuerer, MD, PhD, professor and training program director in M.D. Anderson's Department of Surgical Oncology. “However, the need for post-mastectomy radiation in early stage breast cancer patients has been a topic of great debate within the cancer community.”

In a study of 1,022 stage I and II breast cancer patients who received a mastectomy, researchers found that there was no statistical difference in the 10-year risk of LRR in women without lymph node spread compared to those with spread to one node.  Stage I and II patients without spread to auxiliary lymph nodes or with one to three lymph nodes with metastasis who received surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy without radiation had a low overall risk of locoregional recurrences (LRR).

“for the overwhelming majority of early-stage breast cancer patients treated with modern surgery and systemic therapies, LRR rates may be too low to justify routine use of post-mastectomy radiation,” said Dr. Kuerer. “This research will provoke much discussion among those caring for women with early-stage breast disease. Replicating these findings should be a priority to ensure that patients only receive therapy that is medically necessary.”

 [u1]Is there a source you can add to this write-up? We should always refer to a source if possible

Loading links....
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs