News | March 29, 2010

Patients Tolerate Lymph-Node Radiotherapy After Breast Surgery

March 29, 2010 - Researchers found in patients with early breast cancer, delivering radiation therapy to the lymph nodes located behind the breast bone and above the collar bone is well-tolerated, after mastectomy or breast conserving surgery.

Dr. Philip Poortmans, from the Dr. Bernard Verbeeten Instituut, Tilburg, The Netherlands, a radiation oncologist will tell delegates at the seventh European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC7), and a member of the EORTC* Radiation Oncology Group, will present the results from the study. Dr. Poortmans will describe how women at a high risk of developing breast cancer will probably benefit from additional lymph node radiotherapy.

Initial findings from the 4,004-patient multi-center study carried out by the EORTC radiotherapy and breast cancer groups (46 institutions from 13 countries) show that there is no evidence of increased toxicity to the heart at three years follow-up in patients who received additional lymph node radiotherapy.

Patients will be followed-up for many years to see whether specific lymph-node radiotherapy could lead to long-term damage of the heart or the lungs, side effects that are associated with breast cancer radiotherapy.

The long-term aim of the EORTC study is to see whether giving additional radiotherapy to the lymph nodes located behind the breast bone and above the internal mammary and medial supraclavicular lymph nodes to patients with early operable breast cancer will improve overall survival.

For more information: www.ecco-org.eu

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