Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Most early-stage breast cancer patients may not need radiation after mastectomy

08.03.2010
No significant increased risk of recurrence for women with spread to 1 lymph node, compared to others without metastasis

Breast cancer patients with early stage disease that has spread to only one lymph node may not benefit from radiation after mastectomy, because of the low present-day risk of recurrence following modern surgery and systemic therapy, a finding that could one day change the course of treatment for thousands of women diagnosed each year, according to researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer.

The research, presented today in the plenary session of the Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Symposium, showed that stage I and II patients without spread to axillary lymph nodes or with 1-3 lymph nodes with metastasis who received surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy without radiation to the chestwall post-mastectomy had a low overall risk of locoregional recurrences (LRR).

According to Henry Kuerer, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Training Program Director in M. D. Anderson's Department of Surgical Oncology, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with node-positive disease will present with three or fewer nodes. An estimated 47,000 women are diagnosed annually with breast cancer involving 1- 3 lymph nodes. Of those, 30,000 have only one lymph node involvement.

"There is currently no question that radiotherapy after mastectomy is effective at decreasing the chances of LRR 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 percent. However, the need for post-mastectomy radiation in early stage breast cancer patients has been a topic of great debate within the cancer community for decades," explained Kuerer, the study's senior author.

In the 1990s, two landmark randomized trials demonstrated a survival benefit for early stage breast cancer patients with lymph node metastases who received the therapy post-mastectomy, explained Kuerer. Subsequently, in 2005, a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials that were conducted in the 1960s to 1980s showed both a survival benefit, and a decreased risk of LRR for women with node positive breast cancer. These study findings shifted clinical practice: the National Comprehensive Cancer Network altered their medical guidelines in 2007 to suggest that stage I and II breast cancer patients with one to three lymph node metastases "strongly consider" radiation post-mastectomy.

"We have entered a new era of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Modern day advances in all modalities have been dramatic and, collaboratively, have had a significant impact on recurrence and survival. Given these advances, the goal of our study was to assess the present-day LRR risk in women who present with smaller breast tumors and metastases to fewer lymph nodes," said Kuerer.

Kuerer and his colleagues studied clinical and pathological factors from 1,022 stage I or II breast cancer patients who received a mastectomy at M. D. Anderson between 1997 and 2002. Of those women, 79 percent had no lymph node involvement, 26 percent had 1-3 positive lymph nodes, with the majority having just one positive node. None received post-mastectomy radiation and/or pre-operative chemotherapy; 77 percent received post-operative chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy. The median age was 54 years and the median follow up time was 7.5 years.

The researchers found that there was no statistical difference in the 10-year risk of LRR in women without lymph node spread versus those with spread to one node - 2.1 percent to 3.3 percent, respectively.

The only independent risk factor for LRR was age; patients age 40 and younger, regardless of node involvement, were at significant increased risk for LRR.

"For these younger women, not less, but more treatment may be needed," said Rajna Sharma, M.D., a fellow in M. D. Anderson's Department of Surgical Oncology, who presented the findings.

"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 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."

In addition to Kuerer and Sharma, other authors on the all-M.D. Anderson study include: Thomas A. Buchholz, M.D., professor, Department of Radiation Oncology; Funda Meric-Bernstam, M.D., professor, Kelly K. Hunt, M.D., professor, Isabelle Bedrosian, M.D., assistant professor, Gildy V. Babiera, M.D., associate professor, Anthony Lucci, M.D., associate professor, Rosa F. Hwang, M.D., assistant professor, Loren L. Rourke, MD., assistant professor, Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, M.D., assistant professor, all in the Department of Surgical Oncology; Steven J. Kronowitz, M.D., associate professor, Department of Plastic Surgery; 4 Savitri Krishnamurthy, M.D., professor, Department of Pathology; Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo, M.D., associate professor, Department of Breast Medical Oncology; and Wei Qiao, Department of Biostatistics.

About M. D. Anderson

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. M. D. Anderson is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For four of the past six years, M. D. Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in "America's Best Hospitals," a survey published annually in U.S. News and World Report.

Lindsay Anderson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells
13.12.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart
13.12.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>