Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Radiation after lumpectomy may be unnecessary for many older women

02.09.2004


Tamoxifen alone may adequately control breast cancer, avoiding side effects



Older women treated with tamoxifen after removal of early-stage breast cancer by lumpectomy may safely be able to avoid radiation therapy and its unpleasant side effects. In the Sept. 2 New England Journal of Medicine, investigators from several major cancer research groups report that adding radiation to post-surgical tamoxifen treatment of women age 70 or older does not improve survival, has minimal impact on the risk of local tumor recurrence and does not prevent the need for eventual mastectomy. “If a patient does not need to have radiation therapy, her quality of life can improve significantly,” says Kevin Hughes, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, who led the study. “By showing that radiation therapy has very little impact on outcome for these patients, we can help each woman and her physician decide on the right treatment.”

Many breast cancers depend on the hormone estrogen to grow. So tamoxifen, which blocks the interaction between estrogen and its receptor protein, is used to treatment tumors that have that protein on the surface of their cells. Most older breast cancer patients have receptor-positive tumors and receive tamoxifen, a medication that has few side effects.


Radiation has been a standard post-surgical treatment for women having lumpectomies, but the therapy can be both inconvenient and unpleasant, with side effects such as pain, swelling, and skin discoloration. Several studies have shown that, although radiation reduces tumor recurrence, it does not improve overall survival. Because breast cancer is less likely to recur in older women, the research team investigated whether such patients might do well if they receive tamoxifen alone after surgery.

Over a five-year period, more than 600 patients at almost 30 centers across the U.S. enrolled in the study. All the participants were age 70 or older, with early-stage (2 cm or less), receptor-positive tumors that had been removed in lumpectomy procedures. They were randomly assigned to receive either tamoxifen alone or tamoxifen plus radiation as postsurgical treatment.

At the end of the study period, the only significant difference between the groups was in the risk that the tumor would recur at or near its original site. Both groups had very low rates of recurrence; but while those in the tamoxifen-only group had a 4 percent risk, those who also received radiation had an only 1 percent risk. There were no significant differences in terms of distant metastasis, the need for mastectomy after recurrence or overall survival. Both groups had exactly the same number of breast cancer deaths – three in each group, a rate that reflects the less aggressive nature of breast cancer in this age group. As expected, those receiving radiation reported more pain, swelling, stiffness and other side effects than did the tamoxifen-only participants.

“The local recurrence risk in both groups was extremely low, and women who have not had radiation have the option of another lumpectomy if they do have recurrence in the same breast. Once a patient has had radiation, however, she must have a mastectomy if her tumor recurs,” says Hughes, an assistant professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “In the long run, each woman and her physician should choose a treatment plan by weighing the slightly increased local recurrence risk against the virtually certain costs of radiation – the patient’s time, adverse effects, and financial costs.”

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mgh.harvard.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Superconducting vortices quantize ordinary metal
25.06.2018 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

nachricht Beyond conventional solution-process for 2-D heterostructure
22.06.2018 | Science China Press

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Superconducting vortices quantize ordinary metal

Russian researchers together with their French colleagues discovered that a genuine feature of superconductors -- quantum Abrikosov vortices of supercurrent -- can also exist in an ordinary nonsuperconducting metal put into contact with a superconductor. The observation of these vortices provides direct evidence of induced quantum coherence. The pioneering experimental observation was supported by a first-ever numerical model that describes the induced vortices in finer detail.

These fundamental results, published in the journal Nature Communications, enable a better understanding and description of the processes occurring at the...

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid water formation in diffuse interstellar clouds

25.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Using tree-fall patterns to calculate tornado wind speed

25.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes

25.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>