Regional radiotherapy versus an axillary lymph node dissection after lumpectomy: A safe alternative for an axillary lymph node dissection in a clinically uninvolved axilla in breast cancer. A case control study with 10 years follow up

Patty H. Spruit, Sabine Siesling, Marloes A.G. Elferink, Ernest J.A. Vonk, Carel J.M. Hoekstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: The standard treatment of the axilla in breast cancer used to be an axillary lymph node dissection. An axillary lymph node dissection is known to give substantial risks of morbidity. In recent years the sentinel node biopsy has become common practice. Future randomized study results will determine whether the expected decrease in morbidity can be proven.

Methods: Before the introduction of the sentinel node biopsy, we conducted a study in which 180 women of 50 years and older with T1/T2 cN0 breast cancer were treated with breast conserving therapy. Instead of an axillary lymph node dissection regional radiotherapy was given in combination with tamoxifen (RT-group). The study group was compared with 341 patients, with the same patient and tumour characteristics, treated with an axillary lymph node dissection (S-group).

Results: The treatment groups were comparable, except for age. The RT-group was significantly older than the S-group. The median follow up was 7.2 years. The regional relapse rates were low and equal in both treatment groups, 1.1% in RT-group versus 1.5% in S-group at 5 years. The overall survival was similar; the disease free survival was significant better in the RT-group.

Conclusion: Regional recurrence rates after regional radiotherapy are very low and equal to an axillary lymphnode dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalRadiation Oncology
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

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