TILBURG, Netherlands, March 30 (UPI) — A Dutch radiation oncologist says he’s determined lymph node radiotherapy is well-tolerated after surgery in early breast cancer patients.
Dr. Philip Poortmans of the Verbeeten Institute in Tilburg, Netherlands, said radiotherapy applied to lymph nodes located behind the breast bone and above the collar bone is well well-tolerated after mastectomy or breast conserving surgery.
Poortmans led a 4,004-patient study carried out by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer at 46 institutions in 13 countries.
Initial findings from the study show there is no evidence of increased toxicity to the heart at three years follow-up in patients who received additional lymph node radiotherapy. scientists said.
Poortmans said patients will be followed for many years to see whether specific lymph-node radiotherapy could lead to long-term damage of the heart or the lungs, both side effects that are associated with breast cancer radiotherapy.
He said the final overall survival data analysis will show if internal mammary lymph node radiotherapy provides local control and improves overall survival in women with early breast cancer.
“This is an important issue for radiotherapists and breast cancer patients alike, and we are eagerly awaiting the efficacy results from this trial,” Poortmans said.
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