Treating rare breast cancer with radiation therapy may lower recurrence rate

Jul 11, 2008

Patients with a rare type of breast cancer may benefit from receiving radiation therapy in addition to surgery to prevent recurrence, according to a study in the July issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

Phyllodes tumors are rare breast tumors that develop in the connective tissue of the breast, as opposed to more common carcinomas, which develop in the ducts or lobules of the breast. Most patients are treated for phyllodes tumors with either a lumpectomy or mastectomy, with only a small fraction of patients receiving radiation therapy.

Traditionally, adjuvant radiation therapy is recommended for cancer patients with local recurrence risks of 15 percent or greater, but the value of adjuvant radiation therapy has not been extensively studied for phyllodes tumors because they are so rare.

Researchers at the Division of Radiation Oncology, Department of Medical Physics, and Department of General and Oncologic Surgery at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., sought to determine the local recurrence rates of phyllodes tumors based on tumor size and the type of surgery performed and whether adjuvant radiation therapy should be considered as a treatment for some phyllodes tumor patients to reduce their local recurrence rate.

"Typically these tumors are treated well by surgery alone. However, local recurrences are not uncommon," Richard Pezner, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., said.

The study authors reviewed records of 478 patients with malignant phyllodes tumors who were treated between March 1964 and August 2005. The records came from the IMPAC National Oncology Database, which consists of tumor registries from 130 hospitals.

The researchers found that the risk of local recurrence for phyllodes tumors was related to tumor size and the type of surgery received. They determined that adjuvant radiation therapy should be evaluated for phyllodes tumor patients who received lumpectomies for tumors at least 2 centimeters in size or a mastectomy for tumors at least 10 centimeters in size to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Source: American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology

Explore further: Survival differences seen for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The unknown crocodiles

2 minutes ago

Just a few years ago, crocodilians – crocodiles, alligators and their less-known relatives – were mostly thought of as slow, lazy, and outright stupid animals. You may have thought something like that ...

Cohesin molecule safeguards cell division

16 minutes ago

The cohesin molecule ensures the proper distribution of DNA during cell division. Scientists at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna can now prove the concept of its carabiner-like ...

Erosion may trigger earthquakes

16 minutes ago

Researchers from laboratories at Géosciences Rennes (CNRS/Université de Rennes 1), Géosciences Montpellier (CNRS/Université de Montpellier 2) and Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (CNRS/IPGP/Université Paris Diderot), ...

Laser scanning accurately 'weighs' trees

17 minutes ago

A terrestrial laser scanning technique that allows the structure of vegetation to be 3D-mapped to the millimetre is more accurate in determining the biomass of trees and carbon stocks in forests than current ...

3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

19 minutes ago

Last week, China and the United States announced an ambitious climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions in both countries, a pledge that marks the first time that China has agreed to stop its growing emissions. ...

Recommended for you

Gene test aids cancer profile

18 hours ago

The first round of chemotherapy did little to suppress Ron Bose's leukemia. The second round, with 10 times the dose, knocked the proliferating blast cells down, but only by half.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Jul 12, 2008
X-ray is one of the best ways to disrupt the orderly operation of a cell and produce cancer!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.