Data from a five-year study suggests that limited-field radiation therapy (radiation directed at the tumor site) may be as effective as whole-breast radiation therapy in preventing breast cancer recurrence in women treated with breast-conserving surgery. The study appears in the August 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Whole-breast radiation therapy is part of standard treatment for women with early-stage breast cancer who have undergone breast-conserving surgery. However, it has never been clear how much tissue surrounding the tumor bed needs to be irradiated, and whole-breast radiation therapy has been associated with both acute and chronic toxicity. Researchers are now looking at whether limited-field radiation therapy could be a better option for patients at low risk for recurrence.
Frank A. Vicini, M.D., of the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., and his colleagues compared rates of local recurrence between 199 women treated with limited-field radiation therapy and 199 matched control women treated with whole-breast radiation therapy. All of the women had early-stage breast cancer and were treated with breast-conserving surgery; women were matched by age, tumor size, lymph-node status, margins of excision, estrogen receptor status, and use of adjuvant tamoxifen therapy.
Linda Wang | EurekAlert!
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