Radiation in the treatment of the axilla in neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer

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Published: 19 Dec 2013
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Dr Barbara Fowble - University of California, San Francisco, USA

Dr Fowble talks to ecancertv about the role of radiation in the treatment of the axilla in the setting of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.

There is considerable controversy regarding the appropriate surgical procedure and its timing for evaluating the status of the axillary nodes in the neoadjuvant setting. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) surgery following initial chemotherapy avoids an axillary dissection and its associated morbidity in clinical N0 patients who have pathologic negative SLN.

The potential advantage of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the ability to adjust surgical and radiation treatment based on pathologic response and thereby minimise the morbidity of combined therapy.