In a nutshell
This study investigated the effects of radiotherapy (RT) in older patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). RT was found to be associated with better survival outcomes for both younger and older patients.
TNBC is a form of breast cancer which tests negative for estrogen/ progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. This type of cancer is linked to high-grade tumors, a greater risk of lymph node involvement and worse treatment outcomes.
Treatment with RT is known to be beneficial for patients after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or mastectomy. RT is associated with better relapse-free survival (RFS) which is the time between treatment and the return of disease symptoms and better overall survival (OS) which is the time between treatment and death by any cause. However, it was not known whether these effects would be seen in an older patient population or those with TNBC.
Methods & findings
This study involved 44,371 female TNBC patients who had undergone BCS or mastectomy and for whom RT was recommended after surgery. The average patient age was 59 years with an average tumor size of 22mm. The majority of patients showed invasive, high-grade tumors with no detected metastases.
68.1% of the total group received RT: 71.8% of those under 70 years of age and 55.3% of those over 70. RT following surgery was found to be associated with a 41.4% improvement in OS rates compared to those who did not receive RT after surgery.
The bottom line
The study concluded that RT treatment was associated with better OS rates across the board and should be strongly considered for patients with TNBC who may be suitable.
The fine print
The study relied on the use of patient records, meaning some information which could influence the results was not included in the analysis.
Discuss radiotherapy treatment with your doctor.
Published By :
Clinical Breast Cancer
Aug 01, 2016
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