Axillary recurrence following conservative surgery and radiotherapy in early breast cancer.
AffiliationDepartment of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractAt the institute, since the late 1980s, there has been a uniform treatment protocol for the management of the regional lymph nodes in patients referred for radiotherapy following breast-conserving surgery. An analysis of 2,277 consecutive patients referred for radiotherapy between 1989 and 1992, with particular reference to regional lymph node management, has been undertaken. Axillary surgery alone was used in 517 patients (23%); 1,191 (52%) patients had no axillary surgery but had radiotherapy to the axilla, and infraclavicular and supraclavicular fossae by a single anterior field, delivering 40 Gy in 15 daily fractions over 3 weeks; and 474 patients (21%) had axillary surgery followed by radiotherapy. Ninety-five patients (4%) underwent no axillary treatment. There was a total of 155 axillary recurrences with a median follow-up of 5.9 years, giving an actuarial nodal control rate of 94% at 5 years (95% confidence interval (CI) 93.1-95.1). The overall survival at 5 years was 86% (95% CI 84.6-87.5). There was a trend towards improved axillary control with surgery alone compared with radiotherapy alone (4.5% versus 5.9% actuarial axillary failure rate at 5 years). An extremely low incidence of brachial plexus neuropathy secondary to radiotherapy was reported. The multidisciplinary treatment protocol used gave a high rate of regional node control, with minimal recorded morbidity.
CitationAxillary recurrence following conservative surgery and radiotherapy in early breast cancer. 2000, 12 (5):309-14 Clin Oncol
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