In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out what benefits there were to doing electron radiation therapy during surgery alongside normal radiation therapy for women with breast cancer. The study found that ten years after surgery, almost all the patients who had electron radiotherapy during surgery had no reoccurrence of breast cancer.
Intra-operative electron radiotherapy (IOERT) is a type of treatment for breast cancer. In this type of treatment, the patient undergoes surgery to remove the tumor, or the whole breast. Then a beam of radiation is aimed at the area where the tumor was to ensure all cancer cells are killed. This is more targeted than whole breast radiation therapy, which happens after surgery. It is not known if there is added benefit to doing IOERT in patients with breast cancer.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 770 patients. All these patients had breast cancer, from stage I up to stage III. The all received IOERT during surgery to remove a tumor in the breast. All the patients also received whole-breast radiation after surgery. On average, the patients were followed for 121 months after treatment ended.
After 121 months, 2.7% of the patients had a reoccurence of the breast cancer. That means that 97.3% of patients did not have reoccurence of breast cancer. Of the 770 patients, 107 died over the ten year period. Overall, 85.7% of patients survived to 10 years after surgery.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that adding IOERT to treatment resulted in very low rates of reoccurrence of breast cancer.
The fine print
This study has nothing to compare to. There were no patients who did not have IOERT to see if adding this type of treatment is better than not having the treatment. The study should be redone with this in mind.
Speak to your oncologist about what kind of treatment is right for you.
Published By :
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Aug 27, 2018
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