Locoregional Treatment of Breast Cancer Effective

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Locoregional treatment of advanced breast cancer, consisting of locoregional radiotherapy to the breast and regional lymphatics in most cases, is effective in improving survival, according to the results of a study published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Romuald Le Scodan, M.D., and colleagues from Centre Rene Huguenin in Saint Cloud, France, analyzed data from 581 patients with stage IV breast cancer, of whom 320 received locoregional treatment and 261 did not receive locoregional treatment. Locoregional treatment consisted of locoregional radiotherapy only in 78 percent of patients, surgery plus locoregional radiotherapy in 13 percent of patients, and surgery alone in 9 percent of patients.

After a median follow-up of 39 months, the investigators found that three-year overall survival was significantly higher in patients receiving locoregional treatment (43.4 versus 26.7 percent). Locoregional treatment particularly improved survival in women with visceral metastases. After adjusting for other factors, locoregional treatment independently predicted a lower risk of death (hazard ratio 0.70) and late death (after a year or more, hazard ratio 0.76), the researchers report.

"In our experience, locoregional treatment, consisting mainly of exclusive locoregional radiotherapy, was associated with improved survival in breast cancer patients with synchronous metastases," Le Scodan and colleagues conclude. "Exclusive locoregional radiotherapy may thus represent an active alternative to surgery."

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