Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

10-Year Results With Irradiation After Surgery for Early Breast Cancer

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2020

According to a recent study, the 10-year rate of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence is similar in patients with early-stage breast cancer who are treated with either accelerated partial-breast irradiation or whole-breast irradiation after breast-conserving surgery. Icro Meattini, MD, of the University of Florence, Italy, presented these findings on behalf of his colleagues at the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (Abstract GS4-06).

“A once-daily regimen of external accelerated partial-breast irradiation might also produce an improved quality of life, with less toxicity, and can potentially reduce the overall treatment time,” commented Dr. Meattini in an American Association for Cancer Research press release. “For many patients, partial-breast irradiation may be an optimal choice that is cost-effective, safe, and efficacious.”

From March 2005 to June 2013, a total of 520 women older than age 40 with early breast cancer were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive either whole-breast irradiation or accelerated partial-breast irradiation. Patients in the whole-breast radiation therapy arm received 50 Gy in 25 fractions, followed by a boost on the tumor bed of 10 Gy in five fractions; those in the accelerated partial-breast radiation therapy arm received a total dose of 30 Gy to the tumor bed in five daily fractions. Both treatment arms achieved a median 10-year follow-up.

There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence, with the partial-breast irradiation group having a 10-year ipsilateral recurrence of 3.74% and the whole-breast irradiation group having a 10-year ipsilateral recurrence of 2.5%. The survival outcomes between the two groups did not meet statistical significance, with overall survival rates with partial-breast radiation and whole-breast radiation of 95.4% and 94.3%, respectively. Differences in breast cancer–specific survival, distant metastasis–free survival, locoregional recurrence, and contralateral breast cancer recurrence at 10 years were all not statistically significant between the two groups.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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